Civida tenant Abdi Omar Ige has found new employment through the Building Careers That Fit program. Stuart Olson and Civida (then Capital Region Housing) have created a unique labour engagement initiative to be implemented on the Londonderry project. For the duration of this three-year project, Stuart Olson and their subtrade partners will endeavour to hire a minimum of five per cent of all workers on site directly from Civida affordable housing programs. The goal is to exceed this threshold by breaking down barriers and finding innovative solutions to recruitment.
“I saw the advertisement for the Building Careers That Fit program, sent in my resume and, a few weeks later, I got the job,” says Abdi, who is a plumber. “I have developed more and more experience, and now I can work. I understand everything. I am building lots of connections and learning a lot.”
Civida tenant Tara Larson has found new employment through the Building Careers That Fit program. Stuart Olson and Civida (then Capital Region Housing) have created a unique labour engagement initiative to be implemented on the Londonderry project. For the duration of this three-year project, Stuart Olson and their subtrade partners will endeavour to hire a minimum of five per cent of all workers on site directly from Civida affordable housing programs. The goal is to exceed this threshold by breaking down barriers and finding innovative solutions to recruitment.
“The Building Careers That Fit program has been amazing. I love coming to work every day. They let me do almost anything. I feel comfortable doing. I’m doing traffic control for them when they do their concrete pours and general housekeeping for the entire construction site. I love my boss, my crew, all the people I work with and being part of the project. Whoever had this idea to begin with – I want to thank them because it’s such a beautiful thing. It means a lot to me to give back to Civida because you’ve changed my life already so much and I now get to give a little back.”
In 2014, David came to Civida (then Capital Region Housing) in search of a place to call home after going through a difficult time living with his family.
“I suffered from depression because of all the fighting with my stepdad and sister at home,” said David. “I just wanted peace and to be happy.”
With the help of the Pandora Society, David was able to get a referral to Civida and the agency also helped him with the paperwork necessary for applying for community housing.
“My life is different now and I’m just grateful to have a roof over my head.”
David explains the moment when he first moved into his home as having a sense of peace and finally feeling safe and excited for his future.
“I want to apply myself and go back to school to study music; specifically, songwriting and becoming a lyricist,” said David. “Now that I have my home, I can focus on having a purpose.”
Julie is a community housing tenant who found HOME with Civida (then Capital Region Housing) in December 2015. Julie was born and raised in Colin Lake Alberta where she lived with her parents and grandparents.
“I had a great childhood!” said Julie.
When she was older, she moved to Edmonton for better opportunities in a bigger city. However, upon her arrival she realized she would need assistance with Civida to find a home.
The day she found out she would be receiving a home she was thrilled.
“I was actually in the hospital with a broken ankle when Civida called me,” said Julie. I was so excited I didn’t mind leaving early to look at my new place!”
Julie says now that she has an affordable home she can focus her energy on returning to school to learn more about computer technology and keep busy with her hobbies such as sewing and attending traditional communal Cree ceremonies in the city.
“I’m very happy and comfortable. My site manager is helpful, and I have great neighbours!”
Akbar is a rent subsidy recipient who is proud to call Civida HOME. Akbar is happy and grateful to be able to afford the things he needs each month and life is no longer a struggle.
“Due to my rent subsidy, I’m able to maintain my budget and have peace of mind, said Akbar. He praises that credit goes to the staff at Civida.
Akbar shares that when he first came to Civida (then Capital Region Housing) for assistance he was lost. However, with the organization’s support he was able to get approved for rent subsidy on his new home. He says that this finally gave him peace of mind!
“I have no words on how I can offer my heartiest thanks to the Civida team! I am a 72-year-old low income senior and now that I have help from Civida, I can buy groceries and sleep without any headaches! My life is very comfortable.”
“Living in my neighbourhood has been amazing. I have no words!” says SoCheat, a Civida tenant in our Community Housing program.
“I was referred by a friend to apply for housing at Civida (then Capital Region Housing) and it has been amazing. Back in Cambodia I had friends and things were familiar, but here in Canada there are more opportunities for education and government support. Civida has affected my daughters a lot, a lot. They’ve become happier and more joyful. As a single parent, I’m still able to provide for my kids to get what they need and then I still have food to eat, we have good clothes. I still have the money that I still can provide my kids to go out on programs. This is the way your home should be, it should bring you joy and happiness.
She adds, “Civida has changed my life a lot. I’ve become more independent, I’ve become stronger and I’ve proven to a lot of people that I can do anything.”
SoCheat noted that the impact on her daughters has been tremendous; they now have enough room to play and invite friends to share in their sense of community. Living with Civida has also allowed SoCheat to have access to support services and amenities close to her home.
Update from SoCheat
We caught up with SoCheat in November 2019 to find out how life has been with her and her family since she met with us in 2018.
“I have a great job working in the pharmaceutical industry,” said SoCheat. “Everything is going well, and my kids are doing great with school and sports. I really like my job and I couldn’t ask for more!”
We were thrilled to learn that SoCheat has become a homeowner. “I bought a house and we love it,” SoCheat says. “It’s close to school and work and we couldn’t be happier!”
My whole journey took place within eight months, from filling out my application to getting the keys. It’s been challenging but very exciting! The day I decided to fill out my application, I found myself standing there confused at the Civida (then Capital Region Housing) office!
“I knew that I needed this help desperately as I was pregnant with my first child and had no emotional, physical and financial support.”
After applying and visiting the office a few times, with my tummy growing bigger, my need and desire for a home were getting stronger.
One month after my delivery, I finally got a call from Civida. I felt so relieved and super excited and I couldn’t wait to see my new house. I remember carrying my new baby and new hopes close to my heart and standing outside and ringing the doorbell.
The day I got the keys, I felt a sense of survival. I had hope that I can raise my children in a safe environment. Every single day, I am thankful to Civida for this gift to me and my family. It has provided us with the gift of safety, security and smiles. After 5 years of living in this home, when I look back I feel so lucky and grateful to be accepted and helped.
Thank you so much for the hopes, happiness and smiles that you have gifted my family!
“If it wasn’t for Civida, I don’t know where I’d be!” Gilbert, Subsidy Recipient. “I haven’t worked in almost five years because of health issues that I have. I really had no choice but to move from St. Albert because rent is quite a bit more expensive in St. Albert than Edmonton. I ended up getting a subsidized unit in this apartment that we’re in now from Civida (then Capital Region Housing) and it just gives me a little bit more independence. I was so fortunate.”
This is Gilbert’s Story. Born to hearing impaired parents and fluent in French, Gilbert was born and raised in St. Albert and is a proud to be a customer of Civida. Gilbert found his home in Civida’s Subsidy Program.
“Our dream is to buy a home and leave this one for someone else!” Richard, Near Market Housing. “We love Edmonton. Since we came here, the first day and first time, I told my wife, this is our place. Edmonton is the City of Champions and we also want to be champions of everything we can achieve here. The building is safe, I feel safe because we are safe here.”
This is Richard’s Story. Originally from Congo in Central Africa, Richard and his family found their home in Civida’s Near Market Program. Richard described leaving his country as dramatic; the most important thing for him is security for his daughter. That security, he noted, has been provided through the services offered by Civida. His family aspires to own a home and put down permanent roots in Edmonton.