My lack of activity over the weekend was made up for, all in one day yesterday. There was a TCHC forum, at the Mariott Hotel at Yonge/Bloor (the busiest intersection in Toronto, and what is considered to be the City’s central point). What a lovely hotel. It’s no wonder you seem game shows often giving it away as a special prize.
TCHC, or Toronto Community Housing Corporation, is North America’s (2nd?) largest landlord when it comes to non-profit housing. It has, in the past years come to the conclusion that part of being a proper landlord is to ensure quality communities within it’s environs, so it has incorporated three year plans, outlining all the objectives it has set out as it’s top priorities.
These priorities are determined through the help of everyone, from City Council, to managers and staff, community agencies and yes, tenant too. We compose 165,000 people (that’s more than the entire population of P.E.I), so we are an important cog in a large machine.
This was the conclusion of the first year in the 2007-09 Community Management Plan, and it was time to review and figure out was working, what wasn’t, and what could be improved and how. No idea, big or small, goes overlooked and the turn out for attendance was much bigger than anyone could have ever thought.
TCHC has just celebrated it’s fifth year since the City of Toronto, thanks in part from the unjustifiably downloaded burden of covering a provincial service by the former Harris conservative government, amalgamated all the different types of non-profit housing into one entity to reduce duplication of services and to reduce the overall cost.
It has been a hard, and sometimes thankless job, managing that many properties, some of them as old as fifty year (Regent Park) and many of them, thanks to previous poor fiscal management and neglect, are in very poor conditions. Add to that the tight reins of being overseen by the City of Toronto, and it can very daunting. Sometimes, people get disgusted, because things aren’t moving as fast as they want them to and yet, overall, things are getting better, bit by bit. Because of that, all those involved are becoming encouraged that there is the possibility of a brighter tomorrow.
This is why the conference hall was packed, for both sessions, with attendees spilling out into the other rooms. 2000 people (aprox.) attended, not there to complain (although justifiably, some did), but to work together because all of us matter now.
For three hours we reviewed all the objectives, and at the end, tabled our reports, so that they can be incorporated back into the next year. I never felt until right then just how important we, residents, staff and management, all are in grand scheme of things.
From there, I rushed back home to get a TB shot. I need that for some reason, before I check in to my three week intensive at CAMH. Following that, I was allowed a half hour breather before heading back out downstairs to our recreation room, where a resident run program was unfolding for the first time.
There are plenty of people who love to cook. I should know, I’m one of them, and many of us regretfully, don’t have access to a slew of fresh produce or parents with Costco card, to supplement our diet.
In partnership with another agency, Food Share, however we have bypassed this predicament, at least monthly and have gathered to work together with a random chef to create a sumptuous meal.
It took 2 hours for 10 novice cooks, but man, what a feast. It’s now almost noon the next day, and I’m still stuffed, hehehe.
So that’s me in a nutshell so far this week.