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Dec 7th, 2023

Tenant Spotlight: Meet Sylvie, a volunteer and community advocate in Strathcona Heights 

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Sylvie Roussell has lived in the Strathcona community for 18 years.   

She said she loves seeing people in the community chat with her neighbours while the children play in the park.   

She began volunteering in the community about 10 years ago. Now, she helps support tenant meetings and community celebrations and participates in the Cleaning the Capital events – spring and fall. She volunteers with the Mission Food Truck, launched in 2020 in response to the increasing need for food assistance during the pandemic. It makes a stop at 731 Chapel on Thursdays. She also supports Good Food on the Move – whose mission is to make fruits and vegetables more accessible and affordable for Ottawa community members facing barriers to accessing fresh food.  

Sylvie said it can sometimes be a challenge to find volunteers.  

“I’ve seen a lot of volunteers come and go during my time being involved in the community,” she said, adding it doesn’t stop her from continuing to be involved.   

When she’s not donating her time, she likes art and dancing.   

When asked what advice she would give to people considering volunteering in Strathcona, she had this to say:   

“Try it! It’s a fantastic place to work or volunteer,” Sylvie said. “This is how I got my position.”  

Sylvie has worked with the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre as a Program Administrator for the last five years. Her work involves coordinating programs that are offered in the community.   

Sylvie is one of hundreds of tenant volunteers who make a difference in their communities by supporting food assistance programs, planning community celebrations and participating in community associations. Thanks to their hard work, OCH tenants were named finalists in the Volunteer Ottawa’s Pathways to Possibilities Award for their collective contributions to building healthier, safer, more vibrant and inclusive communities.