To whom it may concern,

It is a pleasure to write a letter in support of Linda Ross’ nomination for a Community Builder Awardfrom the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association.

As Mayor of Victoria, I am committed to supporting our citizens’ innovative responses to the acute need for housing and support systems, particularly for those who are most vulnerable to the effects of the increasing unaffordability in our region. Housing is a fundamental element of a healthy, inclusive and sustainable community. Linda Ross has proven that she is a leader in this community, working hard to enhance the quality of life and well-being of our citizens.

The City of Victoria was involved in a project led by Linda, the Siem Lelum House. This first phase of this project has created an “urban village” for Indigenous families and young adults, who are among our most marginalized community members. For these families and individuals who are at-risk of homelessness, in addition to providing a home, Siem Lelum House provides culturally appropriate
resilience-building supports. Linda continues to fundraise for this project, as she does for so many others.

In addition to managing a number of successful housing projects, Linda Ross shares her extensive knowledge on the intricacies of housing challenges on First Nations land. The housing crises that we are working through today are distinctly human-centred; to truly solve these challenges we need to weave a strong social fabric, to build on the gifts, assets, and talents of our community leaders. In short, we need the leadership and inspiration of people like Linda.
Linda represents the spirit of Victoria – she is entrepreneurial, creative and innovative. It is a pleasure to support her nomination for a Community Builder Award.

Lisa Helps
Victoria Mayor

Read Official Document

An enormous, heartfelt “Thank You” to Cindy Hull for purchasing a special toy for each of Siem Lelum’s and Fernwood’s children this Christmas. Cindy has done this for the last 3 years. Cindy avoids the spotlight and is very shy when it comes to accepting our profound gratitude for the fundraising she does and the personal time and money she spends doing this each year. If there is a heaven, Cindy has a special place reserved for her, I am sure.

Tania was our first grad from the Housing Manager’s course and this is the first graduating class from the Seine River for the Gimme Shelter: Preparing for Rental or Home Ownership on First Nations’ Lands course.  There was a beautiful snow fall while we were there and Tania and her mother taught us so much about the history of the area.