We spoke of hope yesterday. Of hope and possibility and new paths and new directions.
We celebrated what was and opened doors to bright new futures.
The kick-off for Aurora on the Park and Providence House, two new affordable housing projects for formerly homeless Calgarians went without a hitch.
The dignitaries arrived, the guests crowded around the stage and the media stood by and listened and learned and felt drawn into the possibilities and hope of the future for all 49 people who will call one of the two buildings home sometime in the future.
And through it all, the sun shone, the birds sang and people felt optimistic and engaged in what we can do and are doing as a collective to end homelessness.
Alan Norris, President and CEO of Brookfield Residential and Chairman of the board of the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the RESOLVE Campaign summed it up well when he said that the 11 homebuilders who were there representing RESOLVE are competitive in their day jobs but very committed and collective in their desire to work together to make a difference in our city.
And as I stood and watched the crowd and listened to the speeches and took care of any details that needed addressing, I too felt the hope and optimism, the sense of possibility that filled the air around us.
Getting to this moment, where all the pieces came together to create such an exciting and successful event takes a lot of hard work and a lot of people.
I am blessed. I have an amazing team around me. Darcy and Aaron who so generously give of their time and talents. Wendy and Paul who also are gracious and giving. It is because of them and their efforts the day went off without a hitch.
Sure, as with every major event where you are working with many parties to create the desired outcome, there are those moments when all you want to do is throw up your hands and look at someone and say, “Really? You think that’s important or necessary right now?”
Those moments make me smile. They remind me of my human condition. That thing that connects all of us, that thing that keeps us all humble and striving to find new pathways to working together, to getting the job done, to doing it collectively.
Yesterday, as I watched and listened, I felt proud.
Proud that we as a city have a shared vision of ending homelessness.
Proud of our Mayor as he spoke of excellence and vision and commitment and what it means to work collectively to create a great city for everyone.
Proud of the other dignitaries who spoke and shared their support and kudos for all we are doing to make a difference in the world.
Proud of the media for turning up and documenting the events.
Proud of the communities of Hillhurst Sunnyside and Crescent Heights who were open to the possibilities these two projects respresent and welcomed them into their communities with such grace.
Proud of the artists of This is My City who created such a masterpiece as the yarnbombed house which we all stood in front of yesterday to celebrate the beginning of the new developments.
Proud of all my co-workers for turning up and being part of the event, for bringing their best to support what we are working to achieve together.
Proud of the RESOLVE team for caring so much about how the day went, how their donors were treated.
Proud of my team and the fund development team at CHF for giving their hearts to creating a day that truly did touch hearts, open minds and set possibilities for a better future, for all of us, free.
Proud of a stranger named Pedro who lives down the street who came back with his camera because he’s a documentary film maker and he wanted to record the events for us as a gift.
And proud of everyone who came and stood in the hot blazing sun and took a stand for building homes for those who have lost their way.
I felt hopeful yesterday as I listened and watched.
I felt honoured, inspired and humbled.
What a great day!