Ummm I’m not really sure but hey, let’s give it a try!!!
Community building and reducing social isolation
Remember Ryan our community projects coordinator’s matching-up program where co-op members wanting to volunteer and help their neighbours would be matched with members who might need a bit of assistance from time to time? well THAT morphed into Mike Hussey’s Aging in Place survey which a small committee adapted to solicit feedback from ALL members rather than an age-specific focus? Well THOSE surveys morphed into what is now Helping Hands!! This was designed to improve the quality of life of our membership through thoughtful and reciprocal connections. The “Helping Hands” program is a good example of what strong communities can accomplish when members work TOGETHER for the greater good, to keep members healthy and happy in their homes, especially in the face of growing government cutbacks. We have had great success with the Helping Hands program and were honoured the Achievement of the Year by the Co-operative Housing Federation Canada. A successful volunteer-based initiative profiles the inherent potential of all housing co-ops: sustainable community development through democratic decision-making. We will continue to expand this program to meet the changing needs of our members. Stay tuned for upcoming details.
Air bnb: Worked cooperatively with members from 101 bleecker st to assist in gathering information on the air bnb disturbances on Bleecker street. Several board volunteers went door to door with log sheets, and, a phone sheet with talking points and key contacts to help create consistent messaging to the authorities, and councillor’s office. As well, in partnership with one of the neighbourhood activist, we held an information night and obtained 91 member signatures for a petition to send to councillor mcconnell’s office to request a meeting.—still awaiting a response …
New this year
Truth and Reconciliation Report
In an effort to address the co-op’s commitment to a call to action from the recent federal Truth and Reconciliation report, Ann approached the board to ask what We could do as a community to acknowledge the report’s significance and educate ourselves in the process. The board made a motion to now open all meetings with an acknowledgement of the traditional territories. Ann also suggested that we could deliver historical talks on subjects that members would not have experienced in the school curriculum. So we contacted the folks at OFIFC who do cultural competency training for organizations to obtain the necessary skills,knowledge, attitudes and values in order to foster meaningful and informed relationships with the Indigenous community. Their training frames understandings of Indigenous peoples by working through a series of four questions. “Who are Indigenous peoples?” “Where have they been?” ,“Where are they going?”, with the results of this learning to focus on answering, “what are my responsibilities?”. The exciting news is that they are booked to come and facilitate a FREE 1-day training here at DFC on Saturday November 19, 9-4. This training will be open to all members & staff as well as other co-ops; it will be a Powerful insightful experiential day long workshop to offer some basics around understanding contemporary issues and their connection to the historic context of indigenous people in Canada, and propose ways to strengthen engagement with these communities. Additionally we advocated for CHF Canada to consider 1) opening its meetings with an acknowledgement of the traditional territories, 2) to offer workshop curriculum that specifically addresses 1) the larger history of residential schools, 2) examine the barriers to housing encountered by indigenous people, 3) offer strategies for effective and respectful outreach. They did open the 2016 AGM with the acknowledgement of the traditional territories, and we will continue to press for change in the workshop curriculum for next year.
Increase in women directors from 1-3
Greater clarity of director roles!
Rotating chair!—skills sharing/building
Board competency—implemented a FAQ section on our agenda re board basics; Ann gave each director a useful CHF resource guide on Board Governance where we were encouraged to select a different topic to focus on at each meeting to better understand our roles and responsibilities
Annual workplan–adopting this framework as a critical path enabled us to focus on goals for each year, keeps us accountable to the vision, good for our memory, and is useful to reflect on how we did at the end of the year; and to enable continuity from the outgoing to incoming board.
New this Future ideas in the works:
- annual environmental review to explore green initiatives and where we can do better environmentally and financially;
- posting summary board minutes;
- Commit to a formal 1-day board/staff orientation for new board, emphasis on financial literacy, governance vs management, and visioning
Heartfelt thank you from the board to each individual staff!!!– thank you for your dedication and efficiency in helping things run so smoothly. “thank you for the prompt and courteous service re: maintenance issues in my unit”. Really appreciate pleasant interactions with staff on a daily basis”. You’re very conscientious . thank you for caring so much about this place I call home. thanks so much for your tremendous dedication to the co-op; each of you have gone above and beyond to ensure that members’ needs are met, and for making DFC a welcoming community!