housing

Halifax housing association wins social innovator award

The award was issued by Canada’s Volunteer Awards on Tuesday

MNPHA wins Social Innovator on International Volunteer Day.   Jonah Cole

Metro Non-Profit Housing Association has won the regional award for social innovator from Canada’s Volunteer Awards.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to communities through volunteer work and was presented on International Volunteer Day. Carol Charlebois, executive director of the MNPHA, was in Ottawa on Tuesday to accept the award.

It was really so good and energizing. To hear everything that’s going on across the country, it was just really wonderful,” she told The Signal on Friday.

Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of families, children and social development, presented the awards at the ceremony and congratulated the recipients, saying they are “an example to us all.”

Charlebois was “really elated, really proud and humbled” to accept the award.

“It was just such a pleasure to meet all the other people from across the country and the staff,” she said.

The ceremony recognized 21 different regional and national organizations from across Canada. 

The MNPHA formed in 1988 and Charlebois has been a part of the association since they secured their first building in 1990. MNPHA currently has six buildings; the largest has 20 units and the smallest has four units.

“We do it in a different way and I think that’s part of the social innovation,” said Charlebois. “It’s very participatory.”

The MNPHA ensures tenants are involved in their operation by employing them, having them on the board and consulting them when selecting new tenants. 

“They’re very much a part of our organization,” said Charlebois.

The award is a $5,000 donation to an organization of the recipient’s choice, and Charlebois chose the MNPHA’s drop-in centre on Gottingen Street.

MNPHA’s drop-in centre on Gottingen Street.   Jonah Cole

The drop-in centre offers help with income tax returns, social assistance programs and has a small cafe for visitors.