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Housing Hero Spotlight: Jude Armstrong

Tell me a little bit about yourself

Honoured to be a housing hero. I am a Canadian of Ghanaian descent (both my parents were born there and migrated to Canada in 1986 and 1993 respectively). Originally from North York, ON and raised in Burlington, ON, I migrated here for an education and I was able to graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University here in Waterloo last October with a Bachelors Degree. My dad was a pastor and giving back to the community in any way possible was something both he and my mom stressed upon me in my upbringing. Fortunately, I was able to heed their advice and I’ve been able to be a part of so many amazing initiatives and events during and after my time at Laurier. 

How did you hear about ALL IN 2020?

I was actually told about ALL IN 2020 from a fellow by the name of Mike. I was at work (The Source) and this gentleman came in with a flyer about a cause he seemed pretty passionate about (decked out in pins and with tons of flyers). I approached him to hear what he had to say and that 45 minute conversation, changed my perspective and drive to want to make an even bigger difference in the community.

What motivated you to get involved with ALL IN 2020?

Since being in Waterloo and the tri-cities for school and work, I have seen many homeless people and have been around people who have stigmatized them for reasons they just did not understand. After talking to Mike and him reassuring me that there can be positive changes without negative undertakings, I was ALL IN (pun intended).

What is your involvement with ALL IN? 

Currently my involvement is simply just handing out flyers and referring people to make a difference when they can. As my schedule clears up slightly, I want to be able to make a bigger impact with some type of event that could provide a meal the homeless for the night. 

Why do you think it is important to end chronic homelessness?

I believe it’s very vital to end chronic homelessness, because there are several people who are in this situation that do not need to be there. They have plenty of gifts and talents the world has to see, but due to their conditions and lack of proper resources, it is hard to get them on their feet to make the difference they are more than capable of doing. 

Any suggestions on how others can become a housing hero?

I believe that others can become housing hero’s by simply turning up with a smile, bucking the stigma that we internalize about homeless people and going to our city councils and building developers with plans of how to have a building in which we can maintain and provide shelter for our less fortunate. Monetary donations are nice, but going the distance and showing that there is emotional care behind it (raising awareness and changing day to day attitudes about how a difference can occur) will go farther for this mission.

A huge thank you to Jude for taking the time to answer my questions, we really appreciate your support! To find out other ways you can become a housing hero, please click here