Robert Wm. Smith, A Forever Friend
It is with great sadness that one of Right at Home’s most caring and active supporters passed away in May of 2021. Robert Wm. Smith was on the Board of Directors with Right at Home for two terms, from 2006-2012. He continued to play the role as an advisor for our programs and then returned to the Board for an additional term in 2014-2017. He served as treasurer and president. For his remaining years, Robert continued to be a member of the Development Committee, assisting our organization as we expanded our housing developments.
Robert’s commitment to the organization remains unparalleled. He led us forward as we partnered with Niginan Housing Ventures in the development of Ambrose Place.(A supportive housing facility providing home and cultural supports to formerly homeless indigenous people). He understood the importance of Reconciliation, and helped us bring forward the board’s priority to do what we could as an organization, to help indigenous peoples struggling with homelessness.
As President, Robert led the board in the decision to affiliate with and eventually amalgamate with another charitable housing provider in the Millwoods community. This initiative gave our organization the capacity to substantially grow, and offer a more diverse range of affordable housing options for those in need.
He hosted tours of our buildings to delegates from across Canada when Edmonton hosted a national housing conference in 2014.
He supported staff and attended community meetings, advocating for our new housing projects, conveying the benefits of affordable housing.
The Robert Wm. Smith Residence
Because of his enduring efforts advancing the success and growth of our organization, we are both humbled and delighted to say that we are naming Project 20 (formerly known as North Point) in Robert’s honour. The new name will be the Robert Wm. Smith Residence. Everyday, people travelling the LRT from downtown to the North East and back again, will see the building situated close to Northlands, and the building speaks for itself as a positive addition to our community. Where there was once a derelict sheet metal shop with illegal suites, now permanently stands a really nice looking apartment building that provides an affordable home to formerly homeless people in our community. Thank you Robert, you are forever a friend, and we will miss you.