“Every Ontarian deserves the dignity of a home. Over the years, I’ve witnessed first-hand the essential work that Habitat for Humanity Northumberland does in our community and I’m thrilled that they received this grant,” said David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South. “I’m so proud that the Government of Ontario has played a role in allowing Habitat for Humanity Northumberland to continue providing affordable housing for many more years to come.”
On Friday July 29th, local MPP David Piccini met with representatives from Habitat for Humanity Northumberland to learn about the results of a $26,500 Resilient Communities Fund grant it received in the spring from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). Habitat provided a tour of their space to show how the funds enable the organization to renovate its existing office to accommodate for increased organizational efficiency and safety in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was completed in June and resulted in a change from its previous layout with open concept space with three offices, to eight smaller offices for staff.
From left to right, Habitat Northumberland Board Chair David Lester, MPP David Piccini, Habitat Northumberland Executive Director Meaghan Macdonald, and Habitat Northumberland Board Vice-Chair Tj Flynn.
Funds from the grant were used for the renovation costs and also helped Habitat for Humanity Northumberland to purchase the furniture needed for the new configuration.
"The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on an existing layout problem at the Habitat office,” explained Meaghan Macdonald, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Northumberland. “As our programming expanded as did our staff. With this came the need to share office space. In pre-pandemic times, shared office space created an environment of increased noise and distraction and efficiency was impacted. When March 2020 arrived, shared, close-quartered office space meant a greater health and safety issue.” The contagious nature of COVID, means that those who work closely may not know they have been infected until they have spread it to others. Over the past two years, Habitat Northumberland staff needed to balance working remotely in order to maintain safe practices, which was difficult at times for the team.
“The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant has resulted in the increased safety of our staff, volunteers and the public,” said Macdonald. “This grant has allowed us to build individual spaces to mitigate the risk of spreading germs between colleagues, volunteers, and the public. This not only protects the organization from a full shutdown, which would be catastrophic, but ensures we can continue to operate our ReStore and build local affordable housing efficiently and safely.”
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Since 2020, OTF has supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.