Erin Desmond

Erin Desmond

2024 Invisible Champion Award - Nova Scotia/Halifax

Holly House Manager

Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland NS

Nominator Comments:

Erin’s role as Holly House Manager involves providing ongoing support, supervision, and guidance to our clients living at Holly House, our transition home in Dartmouth. Holly House residents, encompassing women and gender-diverse individuals who have been marginalized through experiences of criminalization and incarceration, are some of the most vulnerable, neglected, and misunderstood people in our community. These residents carry with them immense trauma, complex experiences of mental illness, varying degrees of difficult behavior, and in some cases, struggles with performing day-to-day tasks and meeting basic needs. As the only staff member at Holly House during the day, and the person who is responsible for handling issues is the house, residents frequently come to Erin with their individual struggles, issues with other residents, questions about organization and community resources, and more. Erin fulfills all her responsibilities with respect for discipline but deep empathy and compassion. Because of Erin, Holly House residents are given the opportunity to heal in a simultaneously soft and structured environment, while also receiving the support they need to navigate their experiences with the justice system, overcome obstacles to their goals, gradually reintegrate into the community, and reduce their likelihood of recidivism

Have you been helped by a human service champion? We would love to hear about it.

Submit your story