Inside Bruce House
Summer 2016
Community Events for Bruce House
 
 
Jem poses at Drag & Balls 2015Supporting Bruce House is as easy as run, two, three!  This summer join us for the first annual National Capital Pride Run on August 20th.  Lace up, dress up and celebrate Pride in this inaugural run that will take you through Tunney’s Pasture for a 5K run or 2.5K walk.  All funds raised will go directly to Bruce House!
 
After the run on August 20th check out the action at Riverain Park for the annual Drag & Balls baseball for Bruce House. Burgers, beer, music and of course diva homeruns and running the bases in stilettos.  This is not to be missed, and one the best events of the year!
 
Summer will wind down, but the party is just getting started.  On Saturday, October 1st After Stonewall will be hosting  the Totally Awesome 80’s Party to get your fall groove on.  The floor is all yours to moonwalk your way down memory lane.  Tickets at $30 and can be purchased at After Stonewall, Wilde’s  or at the Bruce House office at 251 Bank Street.  We look forward to grooving with you, legwarmers and all.
In this email
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Join Us at Pride!
 
Bruce House needs your groove, your glitter and your retro moves.
Dance with us to 70`s and 80`s tunes in the Capital Pride Parade.
Sunday, August 21st 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Contact linda@brucehouse.ca for all the details.
 
Don't forget to visit our table at the community fair!
A Spotlight on Doug Cooper 
25 years of dedication
 
Doug CopperDoug Cooper joined Bruce House during the AIDS crisis in the early 90’s; first  as a volunteer, then as a caregiver at the Transition House.  He did not consider himself prepared for what lay ahead, but after 25 remarkable years, it is clear he was meant for the job.
 
Today Doug is the Manager of Client Programs and Services and is dedicated to the health of the clients he serves, and the organization that has remained committed to people living with and impacted by HIV.
 
As a caregiver at the Transition House in 1991, he recalls the AIDS crisis with a pragmatism peppered with sadness. “Every week someone would die on my shift. I’ve helped people die and I have helped people live.  When someone trusts you to be there when they take their last breath it is not something you forget.  It is an honour.”
 
In the mid 90’s Doug took over the Supported Independent Living Program (affectionately called the Apartment Program) as more clients were leaving the Transition House well enough to live on their own.  With four apartments and a partnership with the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, Doug was instrumental in creating a program that now has almost 40 apartments; housing families, couples and singles.  Stable housing is a foundation for vitality, health and self-confidence and Doug has witnessed the transformations of clients who have gone from street or shelter involved, to housed. It is a remarkable journey of empowerment. Reflecting on the success of the Apartment Program he is quick to point out the joy that comes with seeing a client move into their home. “It makes me happy to give people a key to their own home and to share the experience.  Keys…something so simple, means so much.”  The frustration lies in the lack of housing available and the waiting list that seems to increase every year. 
 
Looking forward, Doug speaks about the new REST program that ensures that those waiting for housing are not left behind, and the commitment of his colleagues to increase services and engage more people living with HIV.  “New positions like the Client Health Management Coordinator and the REST Coordinator are creating goals and objectives for our clients who are engaged in all our programs.  Our clients are embraced by a circle of care that allows them to move freely between programs, ensuring a continuum of care and increased success”. 
 
Over the last 25 years, Doug has been involved in every aspect of caring for those who depend on Bruce House.  He has dedicated his life to helping people find peace, eliminate fear and move toward health and independence. He is a ‘key’ to the success of Bruce House and we are so grateful for his strength, compassion and exemplary commitment to Bruce House.  He has helped us grow as an organization and continues to nurture relationships with clients and the community. 
 
It is a privilege to thank him for all he has given to Bruce House and, by extension, the Ottawa community.
 
Thank you, Doug Cooper, it is an honour to work side by side with you.
A Taste For Life
  
This year marked our 18th annual A Taste for Life.  This event has a rich history of community spirit, generosity and a unique national participation.  Bruce House and the Snowy Owl AIDS Foundation lead this event with 23 participating communities all over Canada. This year over 4000 people wined and dined in 38 restaurants all over the greater Ottawa area, from Chelsea to Manotick, and everywhere in between.  Thank you to our dedicated diners who not only gather in restaurants for a dinner out, but account for raising over $30,000 of the close to $70,000 raised; our key sponsor, TD, for their generous support for seven years, and the Taste restaurants who are the heart of Taste.  Our deepest gratitude to our enthusiastic hosts at each restaurant who so willingly commit to filling the Taste restaurants and always bring their smiles and energy every year.
 
Follow A Taste for Life on Facebook and Twitter and check out our website all year round.  We look forward to seeing you next year on Wednesday, April 27th 2017!
Hope made Delicious.
 
. . .
A Captivating Night at Bon Appetit 
 
Bruce House is one of 19 local and grassroots organizations that enjoy the generous embrace of Ottawa’s premier food and wine event.  This year Bon Appetit celebrated its 20th anniversary with a sold out evening in the beautiful Aberdeen Pavilion at Landsdowne.  A volunteer driven event, Bon Appetit has raised over 2.1 million dollars and this year received the Mayor’s City Builder Award.  It is a privilege to be a part of this incredible evening, and we are tremendously grateful for the funds that do directly to our Transition House Program.  
 
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Continuum of Care 
The REST Program - Excellence in client care
 
The first priority at Bruce House is to provide the best individual care for our clients ensuring a smooth transition from House to supported independent living, however there were times when a gap was created in the continuum of care. In order to close the gap that may leave some clients vulnerable to housing instability, food insecurity and loss of independence we developed the REST Program.
 
Rehabilitation & Episodic Supportive Transition Program (REST) was developed to provide a strategic response to a crisis that may impact the security of stable housing for those living with HIV/AIDS. It provides the opportunity for clients to receive support during an episodic crisis, the development of short and long-term goals to manage health, and the opportunity for respite for friends and/or family members who may be currently caring for their loved ones.
 
REST is our assurance that every client will have the security of a bridge if they are transitioning to independent living, or if they are facing obstacles that may impact their day to day lives.
 
REST is funded in part by the generosity of the Community Foundation of Ottawa and we are tremendously grateful for their belief in this program as essential to the long-term health of our clients. We look forward to a collaborative and community based relationship as we build this program together.
 
For more information please contact
Kimberley Sanders, REST Program Coordinator
 
Community Foundation of Ottawa logo 
 
As Bruce House continues to grow and evolve to meet the changing needs of our clients, and our community we are pleased to introduce two new positions within the organizational structure:
Ayan Jama our Client Health Management Coordinator and Kimberley Sanders our REST Program Coordinator.
Robbie TupperRemembering Robbie Tupper 
 
On April 22nd we said our last goodbye to the kind and gentle soul that was Robbie.  Through our friendship with him, he inspired in us a strength that we will not forget.  He had a smile that lit up a room, and a sweetness that lingered long after he was gone.  We will miss his thoughtful presence.
 
 
Bruce Miller, a Caseworker at Bruce House remembers Robbie, and the courage that was demonstrated through his art:
 
Robbie's body map artworkWhen I first saw this piece I was blown away. There are such strong identifiers of personal struggle, anger, pain, inner turmoil and conflict contained in a harsh, questioning reality. All packaged up in beautiful affirming colours and a wonderful dramatic symmetry. It's so raw and from the heart. 
 
In May of 2014, I helped to put together Ottawa's participation in the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. I was particularly excited that we would be showing Robbie's "body map". When I talked to him about some of the things I saw in this, he looked at me like I had two heads. As in almost all things I engaged with Robbie, he was too reserved to even consider how exciting his work might be to me. How important it could be on some level. He "kind a didn't mind" that we wanted to use it in the memorial art show. So with his permission, we did.
 
I was proud for him and I hope he was proud of it on some level. It was displayed on a window with light beaming through it. It radiated intensely making it even more brilliant, like candy in a way. I know you from this work Robbie Tupper, more than I ever knew you from all the time I spent working with you.
 

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