On July 10, Mother Nature blessed us with the perfect evening to launch The Perfect Home and celebrate the work of Ottawa Salus Corporation. About 50 of us discussed housing ourselves for the future while we watched the sun set over the Ottawa River and took inspiration from the sailboats running the regatta course on the far shore. Dwayne Wright, President of the Board of Salus told us about the work of this charitable organization that has been supporting adults with mental illness for over three decades. Providing supportive/supported housing is a big part of their strategy and demand for Salus housing is at a five-year high. They are responding with an exciting plan to build a 42-unit supportive housing building on Clementine Boulevard, and their vision includes integrating Passive House design and technologies in their building design plan. The goal is to use approaches, materials and standards for maximum energy efficiency, sustainability and improved quality of life for the residents and staff of the building. This is an organization that is truly making a difference. You'll find photos of the book launch here.
In The Perfect Home For a Long Life, I discuss reasons for optimism when it comes to housing ourselves for the future. One reason is the wave of retirees who are applying their expertise to senior housing issues. Pat Kipping is a perfect example. She is using the skills she developed through a career in community and fund development to spur people in Nova Scotia to develop creative housing options for an aging population. Pat was the catalyst for the book launch held last week in Halifax, hosted by reBoom, a program of the Northwood Community Centre. The evening was a spirited discussion with a group of some 60 people. The icing on the cake was a splendid acapella performance by "Mom & I" (Pat Brennan-Alpert and daughter Katie Guitton) who had scoured the musical landscape for songs about our home. At the event, Pat invited people to form a "Housing Boomers Book/Study Club" and signed up about a dozen enthusiastic participants.
Here's some feedback from the evening. "One friend had read both of your books by the next day. She is in the throes of making some very difficult decisions about her retirement, which she is already two years into. Reading your books helped move her to think in ways that her friends have been trying, unsuccessfully, to do for a few years. I'm sure there are thousands of stories like that. This book will help move our whole generation!"
Over 80 people gathered last night at the beautiful University of Toronto Art Centre to launch The Perfect Home For a Long Life. It was May Day, spring had finally arrived in Toronto, and the excited buzz in the room was a celebration of new beginnings. As one guest said, "Your launch is part of the joy and beauty of spring." Much credit for the joy-filled atmosphere goes to the talented jazz singer Shannon Butcher and her pianist Michael Shand who filled the room with hot sounds. Great music, provocative art, smart company - the book was launched in style.