Paige made personal sacrifices, so she could continue serving clients during the pandemic.
Paige Mazzuca is a Community Support Worker with LOFT’s BLOOM program. This is a housing and support services program for individuals dealing with chronic homelessness. It also assists clients who identify as transgender and gender-expansive. Before transitioning into her current role, Paige completed a student placement with us.
Passionate about supporting people without access to housing, Paige is proud of the work we do. “People who experience homelessness are systemically disregarded and chronically misunderstood,” she explains. “What drew me to LOFT is that the organization really takes a ‘Leap of Faith Together’ with its clients. We work with people through their obstacles and help them achieve their visions. I’m proud to be a part of the work we do every day.”
“Often, people who have not been housed experience barriers in both becoming housed and staying housed,” Paige continues. “LOFT supports people by providing them with housing. We also offer mental health services, life skills lessons, and community advocacy that supports them in staying housed.”
Paige’s role adapts to meet her clients’ needs. “My goal is to help people improve their health, promote social and community wellness, and work with folks to achieve their goals,” she says. “From accompanying clients to essential medical appointments, to budgeting someone’s paycheque alongside them, to holding a mock interview for someone’s latest job opportunity, my day-to-day role adapts to meet the needs of the people I serve.”
Working closely with clients, Paige is grateful for the opportunity to learn from them. “The clients that I work with are the most spectacular people that I have ever gotten the chance to know,” she says. “They face their challenges with such grace and resiliency. My life is better because I have had the opportunity to get to know them.”
As a frontline worker, Paige continued to care for her clients during the pandemic. In fact, her clients’ need for support has never been greater. “It was challenging to connect them with community services at times,” she remembers. “This experience forced me to be increasingly thoughtful, creative, and resourceful.”
Many of Paige’s clients don’t have access to technology. When services moved online, facilitating access became imperative. “Some clients don’t have the literacy to access the mental health services, addiction supports, and medical care available online,” she explains. “I am providing a lot of support to clients that need to access care. This is essential to their health and well-being.”
Committing to frontline work throughout the pandemic has come with many sacrifices. Staff had to take personal risks to ensure clients can continue to work towards their health and well-being. Occasionally, Paige had to go with clients to COVID-19 tests centres when they were exhibiting symptoms. These sacrifices were what kept clients, staff, and members of the community safe. When she is not making an impact in the community, Paige is reading. In her free time, she also enjoys eating veggie burgers and having a picnic with her friends in the park.