2017-2018 Community Action Project: Team Cool Neighbours

Team Cool Neighbors worked with Cool Aid Society to hold multiple open houses with the goal of breaking down barriers and stigma of what supportive housing looks like in the community. The project allowed the public to see what a Supportive Housing unit looks like on the inside and introduced community residents to the people living in the facilities.

We had a successful turnout of 100+ people attending the open houses throughout the day. The Open House Series showcased several of the Society’s properties and services. The purpose was to encourage the general public and neighborhood to attend so that they may come to understand who the society is, what they do and who their clients are. With the goal of increasing awareness of the benefits of the four facilities to the neighborhoods that they sit in. How we come to quantify the impact of the open house is difficult to determine so shortly after. The open house is intended to act as a catalyst for individual conversations about supportive housing, which we hope has a ripple effect through the networks of those who attended.

Sponsorship and Support:
Victoria Cool Aid Society: in-kind support of staff hours and financial support of $500,with a special thank you to Marcie Gaukrodger for her role as liaison between Victoria Cool Aid Society and team Cool Neighbors
● Starbucks Coffee: in-kind donation of coffee and coffee supplies, valued at $80.00
● Crust Bakery: in-kind donation of baked goods for Sandy Merriman House
● Whole Foods Market: $100 food donation for Sandy Merriman House
● David Sommer: in-kind donation of labour and materials to make Donation / Comment
card houses, valued at $130.00

Impact on LV participants
The skills that I gained through our community action project process were numerous.
I learned how to collaborate within a team, to encourage team members to lead, I learned about
decentralized leadership practices, resiliency, how to adapt when the process wasn’t ideal or
perfect, I strengthened my ability to communicate and to work with a diverse group of
individuals. I learned the value of diversity within a team, how to capitalize on varying strengths
and qualities. I learned how to trust and rely on others and to get out of the way and let them
Sharde Long

Through the completion of the Cool Neighbours Open Houses Project, I strengthened my
knowledge of community resources and organizations, developed my ability to engage others in
conversation about community issues, and learned how to work with a diverse group to achieve
a common goal.
Cleo Breton

The leadership skills gained by working on the community project, included the
courage to complete tasks I was not comfortable with. An example of this was facilitating and
leading team meetings. Originally this was intimidating for me but over time this was no longer
an issue. I noticed that I began to have courage towards leading and completing more tasks as
a result. I strengthened my ability to build relationships, and learned to stay curious, ask more
questions, and to be vulnerable in order to grow and develop within my community.
Jonathan: Through the process of completing our final project, I gained a great deal of
confidence. I gained the the confidence to step into more leadership roles when the opportunity
arises and the confidence to look for opportunities to play a larger part in my community.
Katherine Ghanem

The program provided me with opportunities to flex and stretch a number of leadership
skills. Working with a group of people who were new to me and each individual unique that I
engaged my curiosity. Having that confidence and humility to ask questions and in turn
expanding my competence and ability to adapt. I was drawn to the program due to a value of
life-long learning and it was indeed a safe and supportive environment where I did learn. I
learned to see things in fresh, new ways especially from an amazing group of diverse
Linda Nobrega

Team Members:
Sharde Long
Cleo Breton
Jonathon Ruhl
Linda Nobrega
Katherine Ghanem

Team Coach: Randy Kennett, Rosemary Cannon