Tenants Bring The Joy Of Reading Into Their Community
A small group of tenants got together to learn new woodworking skills while building lending libraries for their community.
Five tenants from Overbrook constructed wooden library bookcases on September 25 that will be placed around their townhome community. The libraries will be filled with donated books from the Ottawa Public Library and a section will be saved for informational material from partner agencies.
The cost of the libraries was funded through Ottawa Community Housing’s Community Capital Fund. The project received $4,900.
Each year, OCH provides monies from the Community Capital Fund to communities across the city. Community improvement projects are proposed by tenants and approved by a selection committee made up of tenants and OCH staff. In 2020, more than $100,000 was awarded to projects that will help build stronger, better communities.
The tenants got a chance to build the bookcases themselves thanks to Ottawa City Woodshop – a membership-based woodworking cooperative.
“I originally approached the OCW about building the libraries, but they suggested we take a more hands-on approach,” said OCH Community Developer Mehdi Louzouaz. “It allowed us to make the library boxes at a lower cost and tenants gained some woodworking experience.
Jesse Wilson, a volunteer supervisor at the OCW was on hand to help put the boxes together when the group met. He said the woodshop tries to give back to the community.
“We had more experienced woodworkers constructing the pieces and making the cuts, and then the tenants put all the parts together after some instruction,” he said.
The owners and the volunteers at the OCW are anxious to work with OCH on other projects, he said.
Stephen Sauppe, one of the tenants who participated in the project, said he hadn’t done woodworking since high school, but had a lot of fun.
“I think it’s a great community-building activity,” he said.