Hailey Hechtman: Starting a New Year
Congratulations, you made it to the new year that is 2021. Through all the challenges and turmoil of our previous year, I know that we are all looking to this one with refreshed eyes and hope for a new beginning. For me, 2020 was the start of a wonderful new adventure. It was an opportunity to join a team of compassionate, driven and enthusiastic people who want to support our community to be a place of inclusion, strength and meaningful work. I cannot express enough how blessed I feel to have been welcomed into this group and to be a part of co-creating a future for Causeway that can further our mission and build on our vibrant history.
The first several months with Causeway have all been focused on getting to know who we have been and who want to blossom into. It has been about connecting with leaders of our past who forged a path for this organization that has brought it a reputation for innovation. It has been meeting and getting to know the people that work within every corner of our ecosystem from our fantastic backbone supports in administration, IT, finance, communications and fundraising who are the foundations that we rely on to function from day to day; our programs crew in wrap-around services and in-community employment who work to create an environment that is open, that is strength-based and that helps people to showcase their gifts when searching for options in and around the city; and our social enterprises who model a healthy workplace and who build skills and confidence with those who join them. It has been building relationships with our board who is dedicated to setting a direction for Causeway that is nurtured from a person-centred place so that we can all continue to see programs and services flourish that meet the needs of those who trust us with their time.
It has been Zoom after Zoom with community partners both those who are familiar to Causeway and those who are now joining the conversation to get to know what we offer and what we can establish collectively.
Going forward into this next chapter, we are going to work together, all of these pieces: staff, board, partners and people to establish actionable ways of bringing all of our intentions for Causeway’s impact to life. We are going to focus on solidifying the integration of all of our programs, services and enterprises in a way that makes them seamless to navigate, easy to transition through and exciting to be a part of from those who connect with us and those who work with us. We are going to engage with our community by establishing stronger connections in the areas of housing, food security, financial stability, mental health, youth services as means of lifting up the efforts of our partners and showcasing employment as an upstream support system and a tool to empower more positive outcomes for those struggling with challenges in our community. Most of all, we are going to be spending more time intentionally engaging with the people we know who come to Causeway for support and those who have not yet become a part of our space to make sure that what we are doing is aligned with their needs, with their realities and that we consider growth with them, that shifts with their contexts.
I look forward to building this next stage with you, as a vision established together is one that has roots that are deep enough to withstand a host of potential futures and branches tall enough to see all of the possibility for the impact that can be had.
Causeway Work Centre