May 24, 2022
Roe builds success through connection

By offering our Spencer House clients compassion and connection, Roe brings LOFT’s mission to life

For Community Support Worker Roe (pronouns they/them), no two days at Spencer House are alike. That’s a sign this unique program is working to plan. “It’s extremely varied because we respond to our clients’ needs,” they explain.

Those needs can be complex. The program works with adults living with mental illness, addiction and/ or poverty who identify as transgender, non-binary or gender-expansive. Spencer House clients are offered a permanent place to live, no matter where they are in their journey.

Secure housing helps set the foundation for recovery

This “housing-first” approach was a big draw for Roe when they joined the staff in early 2021. “Homelessness is a traumatizing experience, and it can compound other challenges,” they say. “Being able to layer supports for our clients plays a big role in creating sustainable, long-term solutions.”

This important work helps clients feel empowered to continue their recovery journey, regardless of the challenges they face. “Clients can work towards their self-determined goals while having a welcoming and safe place to live.” Staff also receive comprehensive training. “Having knowledge about harm reduction is an important part of demonstrating to clients that someone truly cares about making their experience safe and dignified.”

Health care that comes directly to clients

As a transgender person with their own challenges with mental health and substance use, Roe brings an important perspective to their work – one that allows them to create deep connections with their diverse clients. “Most residents live with us for upwards of 1-2 years, so there’s an opportunity to build relationships,” they say. “People assume my work is heavy, but it’s actually warm and friendly. It’s rewarding, and sometimes very delightful work.”

Building furniture – and relationships

In their spare time, Roe enjoys spending time with their scrappy rescue Chihuahua, named Noroo. Staff at Spencer often bond over sharing pictures of their pets and connecting on hobbies. For Roe, that includes discovering a passion for power tools throughout the pandemic and recently building their own coffee table

Learn more about our services for adults here.

If you’d like to show your support for our amazing frontline staff, make a gift in their honour.

Your gift will help LOFT provide basic needs, like food, to our clients.  With costs continuing to rise, we anticipate needing more than $1 million to provide food to our clients in 2022, making your support more important than ever.