Lisa Deyoung

Lisa Deyoung

2020 Invisible Champion Award - Nova Scotia/Halifax

Housing Support Shelter Manager

Viola’s Place Society

Nominator Comments:

During COVID-19 our organization Initially lost many of our volunteers. Lisa rearranged schedules, worked tirelessly to accommodate, rearrange facility, followed up on best practises and made sure everything was up to code in order to stay open as long as possible for the disenfranchised and if there was no room, she called everyone in the area looking for a spot.  Staff and volunteers were continually brought up to date on best practises as things progressed. Our doors were open every night during pandemic and Lisa inspired others to keep on being a shelter, no matter what. 

Lisa’s experience with those who are homeless, and how they best should be served has really changed how we the Board and volunteers moved forward. Little by little, working together as a team, we approached homelessness with a housing first philosophy, but client centred. Working in a homeless shelter has many ups and downs, good days, bad days and sad days. Clients are there for varied reasons. First time homelessness, habitual, due to mental illness or addictions etc.  Clients are often stressed out, and not everyone handles each situation the same way. Lisa has a calm, respectable way of speaking with everyone, no matter what the circumstance and can diffuse most situations without demeaning anyone. Clients realize this, respect her. Many call after they leave to ask her opinion or for help, knowing she genuinely cares about their well being. She is a gem.

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