Building Community – Oski Mācipayin Success Story

“You plant the seed, you may not see the bloom, but you helped plant that seed for their future.” – Laverne

Laverne has been an essential part of Quint since it was created. She is a founding board member of Quint, and one of the reasons the organization has the pulse and impact it does today.

As a lifelong resident of Pleasant Hill and many years of community organizing in the core neighbourhoods,  Laverne’s leadership was an instrumental part of the vision that led to the formation of Quint. As a member of the founding Board, Laverne helped ensure that the foundation of Quint was solid with a clear strategic plan and policies that have shaped the organization as it developed in the early years.

Whether you are walking down the 200 block of Avenue O South or coming up 21st Street West you can hear the shrieks, squeals and laughter of many children from our Oski Mācipayin townhouses. “Having clean, spacious, beautiful and affordable housing is definitely why we choose to stay. The complex is very family oriented and safe for my children to grow and play. Quint has created opportunities for my family to get to know our neighbours by hosting fun events”, a comment shared by one of our tenants, Cassie.

Quint is proud of the community that has formed within the new affordable build over the past two years. There is a large focus on creating opportunities to build connections between neighbours and 80% of tenants have participated in these events.

Jessica, shares the same gratitude for her townhouse, “My previous housing had my kids being exposed to other people’s poor choices and habits. Our house was too small and run down so it was making us not care. Now my kids keep their rooms clean and I’m making sure the rest of the house is clean all the time. I love being able to send my kids out to the yard to play knowing they won’t be finding things kids shouldn’t have to find.”

Overall, 40% of our tenants are either employed or in school. Our tenants have proven that obtaining stable housing is critical in supporting individuals and families in reaching their education and employment goals. Two years after welcoming 26 new families/individuals, many have achieved incredible milestones. One tenant has received her Education Degree and is working on her practicum placements, while another has received his certificate in Autobody and is currently working two positions in his field.

All of the original families have indicated that over the course of two years they have come to love their housing and neighbourhood. Jessica’s family further shared on the importance of stable housing, “We moved from our home community because of all the negative influences our family was facing and we needed to get our children back in our care. We’re doing that and our housing is because of that. We don’t feel those influences anymore.”

To date, Oski Macipayin is home to 38 adults, 57 children and 4 new babies. 88% of tenants self identify as Indigenous. We have a mix of one parent, two parent, and foster families which include community kokums and moshums.

As the organization continued to grow, Laverne’s position evolved into the  Director of Operations but she continued to oversee and guide the affordable housing program. She is also one of our main social function organizers ensuring that we maintain a strong and cohesive staff team/family, something that she prides herself on. She has worked hard to make sure staff feel included, heard and part of the decision making process within the organization.

Laverne also played a large role in organizing Quint’s community events, what she calls “the fun work”. This included launching and planning the annual Our Core Communities Shine events, numerous community BBQ’s, and anniversary celebrations.

Laverne’s impact is throughout all aspects of Quint’s programming and practices. Her legacy will be that of dedication, compassion, and perseverance, always fighting for the good of her community and the people in it. On behalf of the Quint staff, board of directors and the community at large, Laverne we are so thankful for your leadership and vision to bring Quint to reality. Your contributions will continue to transcend the 26 years you have committed to our west side core communities and beyond.

Happy Retirement!