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Hygge Homesharing

The first of two Awesome Ottawa awards for December goes to CJ Blake to support the pairing of students and seniors in co-housing.

"Loneliness," explains CJ, "is as dangerous as smoking up to 15 cigarettes each day. So why don't we do more to help our most vulnerable citizens?" she asks. "Seniors, LGBTQ folks, and people living with disabilities can be especially isolated." Through a new social enterprise called Hygge Homesharing -- Hygge, pronounced HUE-GAH, is the Danish word for coziness -- CJ aims to provide social support by pairing students and seniors in co-housing relationships. Students pay decreased rent in exchange for help in home maintenance, assistance with daily living, and companionship. The pilot, which will begin in September 2019, is between older and younger members of the LGBTQ community.

CJ is a recent graduate from the University of Ottawa, a member of the LGBTQ community, and an active volunteer.

Funded by Ottawa, ON (December 2018)