My mother, Norma Ross Bass (née Cooper), was born in Winnipeg, the first in her family born in Canada. When I was six years old, we returned to my birthplace, North Battleford, Saskatchewan and were part of a small but active Jewish community there for about 10 years. My mother was an active member of Pioneer Women who volunteered for the Red Cross. While we didn’t have a lot of money, my mother was very generous with her time. My parents moved to Vancouver in the early 1970s and I followed several years later. Until her passing in 2008, she was involved with various organizations, and for many years was Treasurer of a Jewish seniors’ social group.
In my years working in community mental health, I realized that safe, secure and accessible housing was essential for progress and recovery. I noticed that sometimes people lost their housing because of short-term financial problems. I decided to honour my mother’s memory with a fund to provide short-term rental subsidies.