Canadian Mental Health Association - Project Hope
Laurel’s dedication to addressing homelessness in rural Western Zone is nothing short of amazing. Without her advocacy, many people might have had to sleep rough, without adequate access to resources during the pandemic. Laurel pursued additional funding for a shelter and hotel rooms when shelter spaces were full. This is in addition to the supportive housing programs she developed over the past 10-15 years. Finally, Laurel is also a persistent advocate for accessibility, including mental health and stigma with accessing services.
Simply put if it wasn’t for Laurels dedication and work in this area a significant number of people would have been spending this winter sleeping outside in rural Nova Scotia. Due to her work, they remain safely sheltered, often with their family, in a place of dignity and respect.
Throughout the last year Laurel has sat on our local accessibility commission working to make all of King’s county more accessible for all individuals. Not only those with ambulatory concerns but also addressing accessibility around mental health and stigma when accessing services. She is a founding member of newly Annapolis Valley Roots Housing Association which was created to continue to develop housing and supports for individuals within our community.
Despite the low level of resources and funding available to develop programming Laurel throughout the last 10-15 years has managed to develop, implement, and grow a functional, productive, and supportive housing program that meets the unique needs and challenges faced by rural Nova Scotians. The concept of “doing a lot with a little” is almost not appropriate in this situation as she has managed to do a lot, sometimes with nothing, through creative thinking, problem solving, and collaboration with community services and resources available to adapt them to meet clients needs with what is available.
(These excerpts have been taken from the Nominators’ writeups.)
2022 Nova Scotia Invisible Champion Awards
Recognizing the extraordinary staff of United Way-funded agencies who make a difference every day.