Tenant Feature: Robert Gayford

Robert (Bob) Gayford has been a tenant with Right at Home for almost 10 years. He is a former Special Olympics competitor in swimming, track, and floor hockey, with humble beginnings growing up in Saskatchewan and later finding a home in Edmonton. Bob maintains he keeps to himself, but occasionally builds relationships with a small circle of friends and some neighbours in his building, and takes pleasure in a good joke and long conversation.

Right at Home’s Supportive Model is a Success for Bob

Bob has been using our tenant support program for approximately 6 months and has found the staff at Right at Home are more than just landlords. He has fostered a relationship in particular with one employee who pays him a weekly visit to ensure his well-being. Bob admits he “was a bit of a hoarder” before these visits, but now, he takes pride in the appearance of his unit for his impending guests. He points out his accomplishments each week, showing that he is working on cleaning out his fridge and is prepared to discard a broken television on our most recent visit. When asked if Bob feels like the tenant support team sees him as a friend, he says “these people, they care…I know when they are going to visit, so I clean a little and it’s regular”.

Our tenant support worker speaks with Bob

Our staff have noticed Bob’s improvements, too. They express how the difference in the living space has dramatically transformed since they started checking in on Bob. Christian Koffi, one member of our tenant support team, comments on how his approach with tenants like Bob is to build a relationship with them. He truly feels that if he makes a connection first, both his and the tenant’s spirits are lifted. Christian says how tenants like Bob have expressed feeling “forced” to comply with leases before being introduced to our supportive approach. With our staff, they feel encouraged and respected. The success of the tenant support program is based on these relationships.