Meet one of AUMA’s not-for-profit members: Grande Spirit Foundation

An AUMA Member since 2005

The Grande Spirit Foundation represents 12 municipalities and has over 100 dedicated staff providing reasonably priced housing, quality care, and dignity to seniors and families. The Foundation was formed in 1960, although its roots go back to just after the Second World War. The municipal leaders of the region decided that a home for the Senior Citizens of the area was needed and in 1949 the first home was built.

What do you see in the post-COVID-19 world for your organization?

Post-COVID for our Housing we hope to see visitations increase for our residents, a future of more virtual meetings/conferences to reduce budgets while increasing access to information for our staff. We still see face-to-face holding great importance, however, so much has changed in society due to COVID. We recognize the importance of keeping safe environments for our residents as we work in their homes and appreciate the customer services and programs provided by AUMA that support our residents and staff. 

What’s the number one success you have celebrated during COVID-19 that you are particularly proud of?

We have so many items to celebrate, however our best success - the staff that support our organization. Everyone recognized what we needed to do get through this pandemic together. Without a great workforce supported by great benefits programs that AUMA offers it would have been a real challenge out there.

How has AUMA helped you navigate the pandemic over the last 13 months?

AUMA has been an important part of our housing industry assisting us to look ahead as COVID created almost impossible challenges. Support around our health benefits including the importance of employees being able to access the EAP program during the pandemic, and access to legal as part of a great package has assisted us to navigate different corners that COVID dealt our organization. AUMA has always been there for us and continues to listen to customer needs whether supporting insurance, energy purchasing, health benefits, policies, or presentations relating to the issues, we greatly appreciate AUMA.

What gap that you see that can be filled to achieve greater success?

There were so many learnings for everyone in the province, whether provincial, municipal or for housing management bodies. The gap we can ensure we fill is keeping these learnings into post-COVID to be ready for any future pandemics that may challenge our vulnerable population. So many were skeptical of wearing a mask, so many wanted to move past COVID and socialize and there is still a ways to go yet until we move through these issues, but we all need to reflect on what we learned together.

Please find more about the Grande Spirit Foundation at Home - The Grande Spirit Foundation

Authored by:
Steve Madden
General Manager
Grande Spirit Foundation