Staff Reflection – Christie from Pleasant Hill Place

“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.

Christie reflects on her experience as Program Staff with Pleasant Hill Place for the past 3.5 years before moving on in her career.

I loved working in a home environment where I could form bonds with residents

I loved how diverse the work at Pleasant Hill Place has been over the past 3.5 years. In all my years of employment I can say I have never learned as much or experienced as much as I have here.

You really wear a lot of “hats” in this position. I have cooked and baked for the residents and shared meals with them, acted as a stand-in birth partner for a Mom who did not have anyone to go with her to the hospital, done all sorts of arts, crafts, activities, and recreational trips into the community, and provided all kinds of educational programming. Sometimes you’re an emotional support, the chef or baker, the teacher, the advocate, the artist, the mentor, the motivational speaker, or a Disney Princess, whatever is needed in the moment. That is beautiful because they work so hard as residents to grow themselves that I want to meet them where they are at, and play some role that can support them in getting there.

I really loved the moms and their children and daily interactions with them. Watching the children grow up and witnessing those important milestones is a gift. Walking alongside the women as they work to improve themselves, their circumstances, and develop independence is a real honor as well.

I will really miss the home space and atmosphere. When people are comfortable they are more open and willing to work with you. Living at PHP is a positive experience for many women and children because it shows them what a healthy home environment can look like and it provides the stability for them to make changes in their own life.

I will also miss the staff, Quint has incredibly compassionate, strong, and hardworking people who have taught me a lot. Cultural exchange is always welcomed and encouraged. People bring food they prepared, share teachings with you and welcome you into spaces and practices because they wish to share their culture with you. Not to mention, the good times and jokes are always welcomed too. I will miss being right in the core communities. I feel so much love and pride in the people and community of Pleasant Hill. You see how people and organizations really come together to help one another and share resources. I will also miss the neighborhood stray cats, but I have already rescued 2 so I think I am at my limit!

Christie is an amazing worker, who showed up to work ready to go and support everyone she works with. We want to wish Christie all the best on her next pursuits, at Calder Centre. The stray cats around PHP will miss Christie as much as the staff will!

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!