A Merry Message from Michelle
As the holiday season approaches, I want to wish every one of our dedicated donors, committed partners, inspiring clients, fantastic funders, and hard-working staff many season’s greetings, and a very Happy New Year.
The holidays are a time of reflection, and 2017 has been an unforgettable year of change and learning for Accessible Housing. Having started at Accessible Housing in May, I’m simply amazed at what our organization has accomplished in the nine months I have been here. As I look forward beyond December to 2018, I see an exciting year ahead, one that includes the biggest single project this organization has ever undertaken: Inclusio. Inclusio will open to residents with limited mobility in early 2018, helping 45 people have a safe home where they can thrive.
Amongst those residents is Jason, or Dr. Nicholson as we sometimes like to teasingly call him. Jason has lived with Accessible Housing for five years now, and credits the care, support and housing he’s received from Accessible Housing for his ability to recently complete his PhD in Pure Mathematics. In fact, he has said that without Accessible Housing, he probably wouldn’t have the health and freedom he enjoys now, which allows him to work part-time as an instructor at the University of Calgary. Instead, he will tell you, in a serious tone, that if he didn’t live with our organization, the reality would be bleak. Jason would be bed-ridden. What a stark image that is, especially in contrast to the smiling face of Jason who I’ve had the delight of getting to know this year.
Jason frequently reminds us that the incredible work that Accessible Housing does has a ripple effect in the community. When Jason first moved into Accessible Housing’s residential home, his retired mother was able to take an extended holiday for the first time in 10 years. 10 years! For all that time, she was worried about leaving her son, in case he fell out of his wheelchair and couldn’t get up, if he became trapped in his condo, or if he needed something vital but couldn’t do it for himself.
Jason is not a typical fellow. But his story is one that is repeated, in many variations, with all of our inspiring residents. Stories of what might-have-been if they didn’t come to live with us. Stories of waiting in hospital for a place to go home to. Stories of family members exhausted and burnt out from the endless work of caregiving. When residents come to live with us at Accessible Housing and experience the compassionate care we provide, along with appropriate and safe housing, happy stories like Jason’s are possible. You can hear Jason share his story – watch this video.
Would you like to be part of making happy stories this year? This holiday season, I invite you to be part of many more happy stories to come – please donate now. Your gift will make a tremendous impact, we cannot do this important work without you.
Executive Director, Accessible Housing