‘The tenants are a part of my family, we laugh, we share stories, they tell me what they are having trouble with and I try my best to be there to listen and offer advice.”
Matthew moved back to Saskatoon four years ago after finishing up work in North Battleford to be closer to family. However, he was struggling to find an affordable place to live as a single father. After applying to multiple places he applied at Quint and was able to move in right away.
Although Matthew had a lot of work experience, he was having trouble finding employment at the time. He secured temporary day labour, but he was interested in finding something more stable to support him and his son. He was approached by the housing team about the Caretaker role for one of Quint’s apartment buildings. He felt relieved, and happy to have something more financially stable for him and his son.
Matthew has been in the Caretaker role for two years, and in the beginning, it was a challenge for him. He felt that people were closed off to him in the building and he knew he wanted to break down those walls. Every time he saw someone in the hallways, he would always greet them and ask how they were doing and tenants started reciprocating the sentiments. “I know everyone in the building now, they are friendly and there is a strong sense of community.” Matthew has since taken on the role as Caretaker of a second apartment building. “I like what I do and I take pride in what I am doing. I try to do my best to keep the places tidied up, the whole nine yards.”
This last year has seen an increase in break ins at the apartment buildings. As the first person on site, Matthew has encountered people sleeping in the hallways or under the stairs. He approaches them with the same attitude as tenants but is firm that they have to leave. People are typically not very friendly to him in these situations, but he makes his presence known around the building and once they see him, they leave on their own. It is important to him to keep the building safe.
Matthew is able to balance experience, toughness and compassion for tenants and guests. He works hard to build community within the two apartment buildings by doing simple things like making a coffee for someone who needs it. Tenants call him a giant teddy bear that doesn’t put up with nonsense. He is an incredible asset to AHP.