It is with warm wishes that the Board of Directors announces the retirement of Jay Koornstra, effective 31 Aug, 2018. Jay’s retirement marks the end of an era for Bruce House and the Ottawa area. He joined as the Executive Director in 2000 and made significant strides in building the organization over nearly 2 decades. Through his leadership, he rallied funds from all levels of government, often knocking on politicians’ doors, taking civil action, and organizing rallies. That was largely during an era where funding for either HIV/AIDS or housing were not easy to come by, let alone both issues combined. The success of his hard work was reflected in the growth of the Apartment Program, the continued involvement of volunteers, and the highly respected Transition House. The number of people who have been positively impacted by Jay’s dedication to Bruce House would be difficult to count as it goes far beyond the number of clients this organization has helped.
As Bruce House continues to grow, our future is built on the solid foundations that Jay established during his time with us.
“It is somewhat bittersweet that I officially retire from my job as Executive Director of Bruce House”, says Jay Koornstra. “Although personal health issues made it necessary to step back from the position for the past 2 ½ years, it is still difficult to officially retire from a job that you loved, believed in, and valued.”
“Bruce House has overcome significant difficulties over the past 2 years, and I would like to reassure my friends, colleagues, and the community at large that recent changes are providing new opportunities for the organization to grow. I encourage my friends and colleagues to join me in their support of Bruce House and its future plans as it continues to be a much needed resource in Ottawa.”
Although he’s stepping away from the stresses of being the Executive Director, there is little doubt he will continue to be an advocate for the Ottawa HIV/AIDS community, for affordable and appropriate housing, and for the LGBTQ2+ communities.
We wish Jay all the best in his retirement.