Director Paul Demaniw is retiring from a job that’s been a labour of love for more than 40 years.
I’m going to miss my colleagues and clients at LOFT’s Beverley Lodge,” Paul says. “They’re like family. We have wonderful staff who are dedicated to something that they feel is important.”
Started in 1954 by Bishop Alton Ray Beverley, Beverley Lodge provides high support housing for at-risk youth clients so they can make progress towards education and/or employment.
“Much of the work we do is aimed at stabilizing and securing support for our clients,” explains Paul. “Then we help them move forward into independent and successful lives.”
Paul’s decades of service have helped Beverley Lodge’s approach evolve, ensuring a high level of care and a sense of community amid the everchanging social needs of his clients. “The number one priority and guiding principle is that we really do offer unwavering support,” Paul says. “LOFT will be there, no matter what.”
Paul believes that the right staff and a positive environment are critical. “This is serious work, but we find it rewarding to authentically engage with our clients,” he explains. “Encouraging warmth, humour and stability is important because the longer the young men stay with us, the better they do. By making sure they feel valued and supported, we can help them find their way.”
Paul sees retirement as an opportunity to continue his own personal evolution. “First I’ll take a year to decompress, then see where things go from there.”
“Paul has been a calm and stabilizing factor for the Beverley Lodge program. His approach with the youth has been respectful and caring at a critical time in their lives. I hope Paul feels proud knowing his dedication to the well-being of his staff and the young people he has served will be an important part of the LOFT legacy.”
– Karen O’Connor, Senior Director