Innovative housing solutions recognized

A unique program that provides affordable housing for students and seniors wins awards for Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta.

Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta’s inventive approach to addressing two problems — a shortage of affordable student housing in Calgary and feelings of isolation among seniors — was recognized this spring with a Calgary Nonprofit Innovation Award from the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO).

In 2011, Trinity Place began to offer subsidized housing for Bow Valley College students in exchange for volunteering with seniors at its Murdoch Manor residence. “We’re really proud to be recognized for our collaboration with Bow Valley College and the multi-generational living solution that is making a difference for both the students and our seniors,” says Trinity Place CEO Lawrence Braul.

The CCVO awards recognize that nonprofits are often the vanguard when it comes to finding creative solutions to social problems. With this year being Trinity Place’s 40th anniversary, it’s apparent that the organization strives to adapt to new situations that arise.

Braul was also the recipient of an award himself: the 2013 McKillop Award for Excellence in Leadership from Calgary Family Services. His contribution towards sustaining and improving human services work through visionary leadership action, advocacy and collaboration was recognized with a monetary donation, which Braul gave to the RESOLVE Campaign, and then matched the funds with a personal donation. Watch a video about Braul and his award here.

Trinity Place’s collaboration with Bow Valley College is part of its “more than housing” philosophy, where it combines affordable housing with services such as grief support and help with accessing community resources.

It’s only one example of the many ways a multi-generational community can reduce the feelings of isolation that seniors often experience, while also addressing the need for affordable housing.

Trinity Place is constructing two new projects as part of the RESOLVE Campaign — a 50-unit building in the southeast quadrant of the city, and a 100-unit building in the northeast quadrant. Both projects serve seniors who are experiencing or vulnerable to homelessness.

This story contains excerpts reprinted with permission by the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations.