Happy New Year and Welcome 2021!

Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

Happy new year and welcome 2021! Goodness knows we’re all ready for a new beginning, but we’re also aware of the fact that nothing is going to be really different right away (here’s looking at you, summer!). So how do we handle that? How do we look to the future and create sustainable goals that can see us not only surviving, but thriving?

From an organizational perspective, we’re embracing new ways to get digital and stay connected to residents and partners. We’ll be hosting online events, partnering with Calgary Dollars, and looking to bring neighours together to support one another on a more personal level.

We’ll also be working to expand our Portable Housing Benefit program this year, supporting families where a primary caregiver is pursuing secondary schooling and requiring some additional housing income. And we’ll be on the lookout for creative new ways that NHA can offer more Calgarians housing in a sustainable, community-driven manner. 

Our goals – or resolutions, if you will – are centered around compassion, community building, and inclusion. And though the world feels a little ‘off’, we’re going to keep moving towards those big goals by focusing on bite-sized things that keep us going in a healthy direction.

We hope all of you will find inspiration to do the same! Here are a few resolutions for a COVID era, from our team to you, that focus on compassion for ourselves and others. 

Be kind to yourself.

Say something nice to yourself every day when you wake up. And practice that kindness throughout the day. It’s normal that you might be feeling a little lower, or quicker to anger, frustrated or just uninterested. Speak kindly to yourself and surely tomorrow will feel just a little bit better.

Be kind to others.

Everyone is feeling as weird as you are, even though we all show it in different ways. You don’t have to do anything special to be kind, just practice patience with people who see things differently than you or may handle this specific kind of collective trauma differently. Generally, everyone is just doing the best they can.

Get outside every day.

In these dark months especially, it’s important to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on your face. And as a bonus, getting outside boosts your immune system and we all know it boosts your mood. Even a trip around the block can do wonders for your mood, your wellbeing, and your health. If warm clothing is preventing you (or someone you know) from getting out and about, please let NHA staff know what you need so we can help you find items from the community cupboard.

Learn something new.

You don’t have to take up a musical instrument or sign up for an intensive course to learn something new! Google a topic of interest, download Duolingo and do 10 minutes of language learning, read a newspaper article, or watch Youtube videos on “How It’s Made”. There are loads of ways to learn without spending any money or biting off more than you can chew. Challenge yourself to learn something new, no matter how small, every week.

Connect with an old (or new) friend.

Bring back pen pals! Or get back to your teenage years and spend two hours on the phone catching up with someone you haven’t spoken to lately. Connection comes in many forms but we are unanimous in our need to share, socialize, and love. Here are some ideas on where to look if you want to find a new pen pal.

Just remember, you don’t have to do anything big or anything different. It’s okay to just be okay. But if you want to use the new year to shake things up a little in a small, positive way, then we hope these suggestions help.

Wishing you all a very happy new year, and more opportunities to connect. Onward!

How NHA is Managing COVID-19 and Keeping Residents and Staff Safe

In this difficult time, a quick note (we know there have been many) to let you know what NHA is doing to keep staff and residents safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NHA offices are closed until future notice. All staff are available to residents, partners, and community members via our office line (monitored and answered 9-4, Monday to Friday) and personal emails (see team directory for those). Staff will work to arrange meetings online when possible, or re-arrange what can not be managed online.

It is important that NHA works to prevent the spread of the virus to our residents. To that end, doors and handles in our buildings are all being cleaned with a bleach solution twice daily, 7 days a week, in keeping with the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Further, all non-essential maintenance will be postponed. Essential maintenance – defined as anything required to keep buildings and units in proper working order – will continue.

These are extraordinary times and we must take extraordinary measures to keep one another safe. Residents experiencing financial difficulty are recommended to apply for one-time assistance where possible. We ask that residents feeling uncertain about making rent payments contact the office to make arrangements. NHA is committed to working closely with residents to ensure everyone remains housed.

We encourage everyone to keep social distance, follow the advice of trusted resources (WHO and AHS) and to be good to one another.

This is a constantly evolving situation and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we go. We will endeavour to keep all stakeholders updated frequently. Contact communications@norfolkhousing.ca for more information.

Thank you.

Building Healthy Communities