SHOW Board Member Feature: Mike Peasgood
We are pleased to introduce you to Mike Peasgood, a member of the Fundraising Committee in SHOW’s Board of Directors. We took the time to do a Q&A with him so you can learn more about Mike, his role on the Board, and his take on affordable housing.
Q: What is your role in the committee you are a part of on the SHOW Board of Directors?
A: As chair of the fundraising committee, I help SHOW with developing our fundraising plan and resources. One part of this work is understanding the financial resources required at SHOW to support our tenants. While we do receive some funding from the regional government, we depend on donations from the community to cover the costs of the services our staff provides. These include housing services, helping with securing and maintaining affordable accommodation in our buildings, as well as counseling and mental health supports. The other part of the role is making connections with people who can help support SHOW through their charitable donations. This is simply an opportunity to let others in the community know about the good work that the staff at SHOW are doing, and how the tenants are benefiting from the supportive housing services.
Q: What inspired you to join the SHOW community?
A: I was first introduced to SHOW through volunteer work with Out of the Cold. I joined the SHOW Board of Directors in the summer of 2018, after meeting with Gael and Mike Schmitt, who was then chair of the board, and began to understand that SHOW offered a long-term solution to the endless cycle of homelessness that many of the guests at Out of the Cold experienced. The supportive housing model enables people who are struggling with mental illness and physical disability to maintain safe and secure housing. This opportunity to break the cycle of suffering for people who would otherwise be living on the street was the inspiration for me to support SHOW’s work through joining the board of directors.
Q: Why is access to affordable housing important to you?
A: Housing is one of the basic human needs. We all need somewhere to call home, as we are particularly aware in the depths of a cold Canadian winter. To ensure that everyone in the community has a safe place to live, we need a full range of housing solutions, including affordable options for those on limited income. We have a significant shortage of affordable housing units available in Waterloo Region, and a waiting list which has grown significantly due to the increase in rental costs over the past few years. I want to live in a community where everyone has a place to call home, and to make that a reality we need to create more affordable housing solutions.
Q: Can you share a moment or story that highlights the impact of the work SHOW is doing in the community?
A: I first connected with SHOW through other volunteers at the Out of the Cold program at First United Church, where we offered a free warm meal to anyone who needed one on Friday nights during the winter. Over the course of several years, I’ve had the opportunity to see an individual transition from being a guest at the meal program, to becoming a volunteer. The supportive housing at SHOW helped him to break out of the habits and patterns that kept him in a life on the streets, and enabled him to become a contributing member of the community.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say or share with our community of volunteers and donors?
A: That staff and volunteers at SHOW are doing an amazing job of supporting those who are most in need in our community. The housing and counseling that SHOW provides are key pieces to making Waterloo Region an inclusive and supportive community for everyone who lives here. I want to express my thanks for everyone who volunteers their time or donates their resources to the programs, buildings, and facilities at SHOW.