In my new role as Executive Director of the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa (Alliance) I have been immediately struck by the vibrancy of the Alliance’s community of members and key stakeholders. And I have been reminded that we are only as strong, as knowledgeable, and as effective as our capacity for collaboration allows us to be.
The Alliance is an important voice on homelessness in Ottawa, engaging public and elected officials, the media, community partners and the wider Ottawa community. Furthermore, the Alliance plays an important role in convening members and community stakeholders to address and advance issues and efforts related to ending homelessness and housing insecurity.
My vision is to build on the successes of the Alliance – as a leader in engaging an informed community – as a convenor of local expertise and experience – and in providing a strong, policy focused voice for the sector. I will be looking to you, the members, and to local partners, to help inform the potential for partnerships, to advise on advocacy and policy priorities, in identifying research activities, and to where the impacts of housing insecurity are most prevalent on the ground.
To this end, over the next few months I will be working on a number of strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening the Alliance’s member engagement, community building and administrative capacity, including:
- Ongoing engagement with Alliance members, community partners and stakeholders;
- Supporting the Alliance’s four strategic community based working groups, being the Research & Evaluation Working Group, Policy Committee, Communications Committee & Membership Development Committee;
- Strengthening the Alliance’s communications platforms around education, policy and advocacy priorities for the sector;
- Convening the annual Community Forum on Ending Homelessness – November 22nd, 2017.
There are many ways for community members to get involved and to share your knowledge with the Alliance:
- Membership – Add your voice as a member through the AGM, Board involvement and Member Meetings;
- Join – One of our volunteer community based Working Groups & Committees;
- Engage – In one of the Alliance’s Collaborative Initiatives;
- Share – Resources and information @ATEH_OTT and through the Ottawa List Serve;
- Network – Meet local researchers and practitioners at our Annual Community Forum
I was left a prosperous legacy by my predecessor, one I am eager to build on and enhance through new partnerships and opportunities. I encourage each of you to also take part in one of the many opportunities for engagement and input that the Alliance offers, and I look forward to hearing from you directly.
I would also like to thank the Alliance’s Board of Directors, for their warm welcome and support throughout my transition. The Board’s collective expertise and leadership in the sector is unparalleled, and is a true recognition of the strength of Ottawa’s Alliance.
ABOUT – BIO – Kristen Holinsky
Before joining the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa, Kristen worked as Director, Programs and Strategic Initiatives with the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA). CHRA is a national member based non-profit that advocates at the federal level on affordable and supportive housing and homelessness issues. Kristen oversaw the programming and communications of CHRA’s annual National Congress on Housing and Homelessness, as well as the association’s research, advocacy and online education programs. She also maintained and established partnerships with sponsors, members and stakeholders.
Kristen holds a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University, and an MA (UCL) and BA Honours (Carleton) in Cultural Studies. Kristen has also worked with the U.S. Embassy, Federal Government of Canada, National Gallery of Canada and City of Ottawa Public Arts Program.
With a keen interest in grassroots community development, Kristen has also volunteered with the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa and Lowertown East Residents Committee, and currently sits on the Board of Directors at Interval House Ottawa.