Natalie Potvin: Finding the Joy in Other’s Success

By Diana Barry


Natalie Potvin works within Ottawa Mission to help individuals gain access to safe and affordable housing. Natalie’s happiness comes from finding safe environments for her clients to grow in.  

 Growing up in subsidized housing Natalie used this experience to help others access the basic needs that she knows many children in her neighborhood lacked. As Natalie stated “a home is a safe place we created and make our own, a place of comfort, a place of love and connection”. Her motivation comes from seeing and helping others excel and reach their fullest potential.

Natalie uses her position at the Ottawa Mission to help the city of Ottawa become a safer and more comfortable place to live in, by using the resources Ottawa has to create a positive change in people’s lives. 

The Ottawa Mission is not only a shelter but a safe and secure place which has the purpose to provide food, shelter, clothing and skills, and offer healing, faith and hope for building a wholesome life. 

Natalie’s time at Ottawa Mission is spent creating relationships with her clients, landlords and local organizations in order to get the resources she needs to fulfill safe housing for her clients. Natalie works with relocating and advocating for safe and affordable housing.

Natalie has been working in this field for 10 years which includes many challenges but also rewarding moments when she sees past clients update her on their success in their life. Within these 10 years of work Natalie follows the advice a past supervisor gave her to continue persevering through the ups and downs. The quote was, “people want to know how much you care before they care how much you know”, which proves the importance of being there to listen and learn rather than teach. 

Natalie’s words of wisdom for others who want to help homelessness in Ottawa consists of, “you must build a respectful and trusting relationship with the individuals that we serve and work hard to get the resources that your clients need”. Natalie continues to find joy in the work she does to help homelessness in Ottawa.