Disrupting the Cycle of Transiency. An 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.

This is the longest I’ve ever lived in one place” – Quint Tenant 

Many of Quint’s tenant families have never lived in a single place for over a year. They continually move due to inadequate housing, poor quality housing or for making bad personal choices. This cycle of transiency has a devastating impact on families and is detrimental to the community. Quint’s Affordable Housing Program works hard to break that cycle of transiency and replace it with stability.

Oski Mācipayin, the Cree word for “new beginnings”

Since opening 18 months ago, 57% of households at Oski Mācipayin have remained in their homes.

Stable housing allows families to redirect their resources, time and energy into improving other areas of their lives and invest in relationships. Families are happier and healthier, and they are in a better position to manage mental health, stress and planning for the future. Children are able to consistently attend the same school and build friendships with peers and adults. Long-term housing facilitates the development of tenant relationships where neighbors support each other in a variety of ways such as ride sharing for groceries and child care. 

How to disrupt the cycle of transiency

Quint’s role is to create a space to support and encourage tenants who are making conscious choices towards achieving stable housing. This requires a teamwork approach where a landlord tenant relationship works together, rather than a power over approach that sets up the landlord as an authority figure that views the tenant as a transaction.

Disrupting the cycle takes flexibility and strategic decisions by individual housing providers. Quint’s Affordable Housing Program is adaptable in a variety of ways:

  • Ensuring affordable rental rates so that tenants do not need to choose between food and rent;
  • Flexible policies on rental payments, including rent payment plans to support tenants in repayment of arrears instead of eviction;
  • Communicating the approach and supports within Quint’s housing program that assist people to be successful. Some people need more supportive housing and it’s important to know who Quint’s program is suitable for. Not everyone will thrive in Quint’s housing program. 

Choices that tenants make that create stability

There are often four reoccurring themes that we have identified are key in tenant stability:  

1) Self-awareness about finances: When a Quint tenant understands where they stand with their own finances and how financial decisions impact their life, they can use the situation to set themselves up for success. For example, if a person knows that they struggle with paying rent then they set up ways to pay automatically. If they know they can pay rent on their own regularly then they ensure that they do.

2) Strong Communication: Tenants that have stability at Quint are often frequent communicators. Tenants do not need to be good communicators, but frequency is important. Staying connected through the good and challenging times of a tenancy is important, even if it is uncomfortable communication.

3) Setting boundaries: This looks different for everyone, however, most stable tenants at Quint have been able to set clear boundaries with guests and families. Boundaries include appropriate visiting hours, monitoring noise levels, and size of gatherings.

4) Willing to lean on others for support: Positive support networks are very important for stable tenants. This could include professional supports as well as neighbours and family that are able to provide help during difficult times.

Working towards successful tenancy can be challenging. It requires open communication, embracing vulnerability, relearning priorities and building relationships. Quint sees, supports and values, these qualities in our tenants. We are proud to have relationships with the people who call our affordable rentals home. 

 

 

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!