Senators' Statements - Allan and Wendy De Genova
The Honourable Senator Larry W. Campbell :
Honourable senators, I'm honoured to rise today to recognize Allan and Wendy De Genova.
Al has been involved in all aspects of life in Vancouver, from work as a Park Board Commissioner to Ronald McDonald House to the Chinatown revitalization. He has led by example.
Nine years ago, he was moved by the story of Captain Greene, who was attacked while serving in Afghanistan, suffering a severe head injury while meeting with tribal elders. Through his courageous efforts, he regained much of his capabilities. Al saw the need for support for families whose loved ones were undergoing treatment. He started a campaign that culminated in Honour House.
Honour House Society is a refuge, a home away from home for Canadian Forces personnel, emergency services personnel and their families to stay, completely free of charge, while they are receiving medical care and treatment in the Metro Vancouver area. Honour House receives neither provincial nor federal funding, although BC Housing does provide some financing.
Since it opened, the 10—bedroom, 10—bathroom, wheelchair accessible home, which has a communal kitchen, living room and dining room, has saved its guests hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have had to go to accommodation fees during an already stressful time for the many emergency personnel who have stayed there.
Yesterday, Al was recognized by the Veterans Ombudsman in Halifax with a commendation for his ongoing work with Honour House.
Honourable senators, I have to tell you that in conversations with him, he would like Honour House to be present in every single one of our provinces and territories. If you have any ideas that could help or you would like to be involved, please contact me.
Simply put, Al De Genova is a person who sees a need and works collaboratively with others to ensure that the need is met. He is an outstanding Canadian.