Where to start? I'm just going to jump right in. The minute that the names of the two new tenant directors at TCHC were officially released I started doing some research. Nothing heavy. Everything was available online. I started with Amanda Coombs LinkedIn account.
The first thought that came to my mind when I saw her profile was 'if she is doing such great work in the community why does she only have 7 connections?' Yup, that's right … Just seven.
Come on now. I'm definitely not everyone's favourite person and I currently have 305 connections on LinkedIn.
K … Maybe the first impression isn't very impressive. So I began to research her qualifications beginning with her education. On her LinkedIn page it indicates that she has been working on her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from 2011 - 2018. That's seven years already.
The York University website states - "This program is well-suited for students wishing to complete a 3-year university degree and then begin a career or pursue a college diploma following graduation."
Then on her information page on TCHC's website it states that she is still attending York University for that very same degree.
How much longer is that going to take her? No judgements. Just a statement of fact that maybe she doesn't really have the time (or attributes) necessary to devote to the tasks that are mandatory for TCHC Board related matters.
I scanned the rest of her LinkedIn resume. Under Volunteer Experience she put Recreational Assistant at CAMH from August 2017 - August 2017. That's right. One month of volunteer experience. Honestly, I would be ashamed to put something that microscopic on my resume. I may have had naps longer than the total amount of time she has volunteered.
At this point I am searching in vain for an explanation as to why she would have been a preferred candidate for a tenant seat on the TCHC Board of Directors. Then I saw it.
She has eleven certifications! Sounds amazing. Looks amazing on her LinkedIn page. Until you realize that the majority of those certifications can be received for work completed in less time than it has taken me to research and write this article.
CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
Two-Day Foundation Course
TRX FUNCTIONAL TRAINING COURSE
Conflict Resolution & Training
Maximum 6 days
Emergency First Aid CPR/AED Level C
no longer available but likely under the 5 hours required for CPR/AED Level C
Provisional MHFA Canada Youth Instructor
Engaging and Empowering. How to become an Effective Mentor for Vulnerable Youth
30 hours (3 hours a week for 10 weeks)
Crisis Intervention Training
Food Handler Training Certificate
Mental Health First Aid
Fitness Instructor Specialist
I have been sitting on this information since May 28th, 2018. I really wanted to give Amanda Coombs the benefit of the doubt. It is only a few months into her term and she is already on a leave of absence.
Oddly enough, I don't blame her.
I blame everyone that played a role in her appointment to the TCHC Board of Directors. I also blame TCHC for not having a satisfactory mechanism in place for tenants to elect appropriately qualified individuals to represent us in those two token seats. Finally, I blame the City of Toronto (as Toronto Community Housing's sole shareholder) for not doing its due diligence.
13/7/2018 05:08:01 am
As we are all aware it is always the same people on our Boards obviously favourites no one else gets a chance. Sometimes personal experience speaks louder than a bunch of certificates that are so easily acquired. It is a never ending story with TCHC and the City of Toronto but those who care we keep on trying. As we say when we get married Till death do us part. I am still around and will not give up.
13/7/2018 07:32:47 am
and these are people living in TCHC units .Why with all there degree and jobs they still can't afford to buy house or rent .
16/7/2018 08:46:11 am
Great Work Cheryl.. I may not be a favourite but I have been 10 years advocating for social justice reforms and housing! I have never EVER seem this Tenant Director on rallies or protest where were they?
24/7/2018 11:02:00 am
Doing a 1 week course in mental health ,does make a certified mental health expert because i study that course in mental through collage in Community Service Worker.and another two other course on its own twice on one day between three years don't make me mental health-specialist so doing one week course she did last year in Ajax makes her one she really needed know what really is mental health expert, because i holding two and collage certificate.do not make me one this girl needed to rewrite her hole resume with out the lies
12/4/2019 12:34:25 pm
Is this the same Alana that every in TCHC hated and has tried to kicked removed off every committee for her hostile, negative and aggressive behaviour?! Everyone knows about your personal smear campaigns against Amanda in the Jane & Finch community. I am not surprised to find a bunch of angry, white women bitterly trying to argue that someone who lives in and volunteers their time to the Jane and Finch community saying that a young Balck women in not qualified. Judging from your spelling and grammar Alana.. you aren't qualified to do much but be bitter and angry behind a keyboard and at TCHC meetings
29/7/2018 07:56:28 pm
It is definitely sad that tenants do not have proper representation on the Board. Neither of these two ladies have shown, any effort in approaching or advocating for all tenants.
20/8/2018 12:36:08 pm
If your credentials are so stellar, why the hell are you in a TCHC property?
I'll politely overlook the fact that you are attacking the one person that did the research to find out Amanda Coombs was NOT qualified. When those whose positions/jobs would indicate they were supposed to … but didn't.
20/8/2018 02:43:23 pm
Huh, so even with your lived experience of disability, you have no compassion about another person needing a leave of absence?
Again … Attacking me when you shouldn't be. I have been to the Board Room at TCHC more than Amanda. She hasn't even touch a seat in that room or touch the board room table. I have done both. Now if she left for disability related issues I would most certainly have more compassion. But she didn't. She took a leave to run for public office.
8/1/2019 12:13:13 pm
Still waiting to see how qualified you are Jane????
8/1/2019 12:22:10 pm
So it looks like Amandas back to basics group is fake....when you google it nothing comes up.
11/4/2019 09:11:56 am
Typical black and brown people that don't want to support other black and brown people. Always an element of bad mind and envy. I admire Amanda for her accomplishments. I don't know her and have only saw her here and there a few times: once in a supermarket and the other time walking pass my building.
11/4/2019 01:17:17 pm
Ohh, am sorry Cheryl. After further research, I now know that you are a white, privileged individual. I assumed that the kind of folks who would engaged in these activities would be black or brown folks so I just wanted to correct the record.
13/4/2019 10:47:08 am
I don't think anyone living in TCHC can be described as "privileged" white or otherwise. Forgive me for actually trying to change things from within.
12/4/2019 12:17:53 pm
You sound angry and bitter that is probably why you are stuck in your life and going nowhere. I have worked in the community and needed assistance many times and Amanda Coombs went out of her way, I remember once it was her son's birthday and she was still trying to find a way to come on help me. Stop being bitter...if you are convinced you can do better than attacking a young black women who lives in housing and devotes all her time VOLUNTEERING to making it better while raising children and attending school and working full time I would like to hear how.
13/4/2019 11:10:44 am
That's literally last years news … Maybe you would like to read something more recent that I have made a matter of public record at the Executive Committee for the city of Toronto about the current plans to Accelerate the City's Tenants First Project. I spent seven hours writing my submission. I look forward to your comments - https://www.cherylduggan.ca/creatively-independent/accelerating-the-citys-tenants-first-project
Leave a Reply.