Michelle Mallette

2020 Invisible Champion (C) Award - Nova Scotia/Halifax

Housing support worker

Adsum for Women and Children

Nominator Comments:

Michelle was the key organizer who transitioned the out of the cold shelter from a number of beds in a community centre gym, to a hotel during the peak of the COVID 19 crisis.  She worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of all staff and guests.  She also transitioned from overseeing a small handful of staff to overseeing more than twenty staff while still doing frontline work and supporting guests.  In my opinion, she is the reason out of the cold was able to support very high acuity guests in a respectful and dignified manner throughout the pandemic.  When the hotel had to close due to funding issues, she was instrumental in assisting almost all the guests find other accommodations, including permanent housing.

Michelle is loved by her clients.  As a housing support worker, she goes above and beyond to find beautiful apartments for her clients so that they live healthy, productive lives and engage more with their communities. She also has a number of clients who have been left behind by other systems and organizations, yet Michelle sees the resilience and dignity in everyone she works with, so she is able to help those individuals get housing and live their best lives.  I know of two clients in particular who Michelle has taken on that were refused service from many other organizations due to different behavioural issues, but Michelle worked with them to support them and help them find housing.  These people would still be living on the streets if Michelle wasn’t there to support them.  Michelle does way more work for her clients than she is being paid for. If Michelle wasn’t involved in the homelessness community in Halifax, we would have dozens more people sleeping outside than we currently see.

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