It is with mixed feelings that I am writing to inform Fife House staff, as well as our community and partners, that Michael Blair is leaving our agency today, as Michael and his partner begin a new chapter together out of province. His partner moved in May, and Michael is looking forward to joining him at the end of September. While he will be greatly missed by the Fife House family, we are happy to see him start this new chapter and wish them all the best!
Michael has been with Fife House for almost nine years and has been our Executive Director for the past two years. During that time, Fife House has grown to serve over 600 clients over six sites and twelve programs. Notably, this growth has occurred during a time when many agencies have been diminished, or absorbed. Over the years, Michael has worn many hats, first as a key member in a very small team, and eventually directing operational and funding responsibilities for the entire agency. One thing that has tied Michael’s contributions together is his drive to expand and improve program scope for Fife House.
As Director of Community Programs, Director of Residential Programs and later Director of Operations and Community Partnerships, Michael sought out new funding streams and established strategic partnerships within the ASO and non-ASO communities that allowed Fife House to become a leader in the sector. Michael’s many successes and contributions include launching the Addiction Supportive Housing partnership with LOFT McEwan which secured stable, permanent funding for 36 units of permanent, supportive housing for a chronically marginalized community. He also formed the partnerships that composed the Complex Care Program and guided this program.
Upon becoming Executive Director in 2018, Michael focused on the opening of the Huntley Transitional Housing Program after a successful $1.8 million capital campaign. This secured housing stability and integrated support services for some of Toronto’s most marginalized and health complex individuals. Michael was able to create a partnership with Seaton House to support personal support care and expanded the Homeless Outreach Program. Most importantly, Michael built a management team that would ensure our services continue to grow and prosper during this critical growth phase of our development. Michael has led his team to ensure that Fife House’s housing stock continues to grow even during Toronto’s affordable housing crisis.
The search for a new Executive Director is underway and we look forward to announcing our new ED soon. The board and management team are working together to ensure operations at Fife House run smoothly during this leadership transition. An Interim Executive Director has been assigned and will be announced in the coming days. Michael leaves behind a strong team and the Board of Directors are committed to the continuity of Fife House’s excellent service and will continue to prioritize the needs of our clients.
We wish Michael all the best on his new journey and thank him for all his great work.
With warm regards and gratitude for your continued support,
President, Board of Directors