SHOW Board Member Feature: Olga

We are pleased to introduce you to Olga, a member of the Housing and Fundraising Committees in SHOW’s Board of Directors. We took the time to do a Q&A with her so you can learn more about Olga, her role on the Board, and her take on affordable housing.

Q: What is your role in the committee you are in on the SHOW board?

A: As one of the newest members of the board, sitting on the fundraising and housing committees has been very eye opening to the tremendous need for affordable and supportive housing in our community. The housing committee works towards ensuring that SHOW provides affordable, safe, and well-maintained homes. We are currently working towards upgrading our most recent site of 144 Erb St. E, to increase accessibility and upgrade units for new tenants. The fundraising committee is working to increase awareness of the need for support services and affordable seniors housing in the community, while also highlighting the work currently being done to support SHOW tenants. With the other members of the committees, I work to make sure that the diverse needs of our tenants are met and that we are providing equitable dignified services to those in need.

Q: How long have you been on the SHOW board?

A: I joined July 2020

Q: What inspired you to join the SHOW community?

A: I first learned about SHOW through another board member who shared some of the wonderful work being done to support seniors and those who have experienced chronic homelessness. Many of SHOW’s tenants have experienced the traumas of chronic homelessness, mental health struggles, addictions, and poverty. Where others may neglect such vulnerable community members, SHOW provides ongoing supports and housing in a dignified manner. With their newest addition of affordable housing for seniors, I felt that SHOW truly cared about the community.

Q: Why is access to affordable housing important to you?

A: Having experienced homelessness for a short period, I have seen first-hand how quickly one can find themselves without a home. While I was fortunate enough to have the support to overcome that situation, many others are not so lucky. I feel that as a community we need to work together to offer options to those facing barriers to securing housing. With the current pandemic and rise of housing costs, it more important than ever that we prioritize affordable housing.

Q: Can you share a moment or story that highlights the impact of the work SHOW is doing in the community?

A: When I first visited SHOW’s 362 Erb St. W. location, I was not only impressed with the building itself but also the way in which everyone connecting with each other. The staff and tenants all have authentic relationships with each other and greeted each other like family. I could see that a genuine trust had been built amongst everyone, which showed me that SHOW was providing much than just a place to live. The SHOW staff have become almost like family to many of the tenants, which is moving as many of the tenants have no one else.

Q: Is there anything you would like to say or share with our community of volunteers and donors?

A: My favourite part of being on the board is being able to connect with the volunteers and donors that help keep SHOW running. I’m always humbled to hear that everyday people see how important it is to provide affordable and supportive housing to those in need. I know I can speak for the tenants and other board members when I say that we are so grateful for the generosity of our donors. With their support, we are helping meet the needs of some of community’s most vulnerable populations.