“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” – Jack Layton
COVID-19 changed everything. It changed the way we worked, the way we socialize, what we value, and showed us what we had take for granted. It took a pandemic to make us realize what is truly important in life, and how vulnerable we all are.
Before the pandemic began, the HOBS team was working on a project that focused on removing barriers to the most vulnerable people in our communities. The goal was to engage with people with disabilities and from their lived experience learn how a municipality could create a more inclusive community.
This project opened our eyes to the barriers and challenges they faced daily, such as taking the bus or crossing the street. It also made us realize how much more vulnerable they became with the impact of COVID-19. Sometimes it increased their barriers, their dependence on others, and their isolation from the rest of the world, for example, when libraries closed, and people lost their only access to a computer and the internet. Other times, as services adapted to the pandemic shutdown with imagination and intent, it created opportunities for inclusion that had not existed before. This project, and this pandemic, has reminded us that we have much for which to be thankful – and that there is much work to do before our world is inclusive for one and all.
This Thanksgiving, we would like to express our gratitude:
- To our collective of colleagues and collaborators, who continue to teach us, and who share so much. We are stronger together.
- To our wonderful clients, who have found safe ways to move forward with important projects that strengthen our communities.
- To our families, who keep us laughing, and who drag us out into the autumn sun as they inspire us to be our best selves.
As we have heard many times from others “we may be in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat”.
We wish you a safe and hearty meal, and a sturdy boat in which to ride out this storm. Be kind, stay safe, and be well.