Local engineers unite to transform supportive housing spaces - United Way Alberta Capital Region

Local engineers unite to transform supportive housing spaces

October 6, 2023


The Edmonton region’s engineering community joins forces to make a lasting impact through skilled volunteerism in support of United Way and Edmonton John Howard Society.

More than 80 volunteers from local engineering firms rolled up their sleeves to put their unique skills and experience to good use for the 17th annual Engineering Challenge Day of Caring projects.

The Engineering Challenge is an annual event in support of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, where the engineering community collaborate together to strengthen the local region through donation, volunteering, advocacy, and community building project.

The Engineering Challenge is made up of 18 like-minded engineering organizations who seek to make direct sustainable impact and support our community’s most vulnerable. Its primary focus is to collectively make an imprint in our community by undertaking a community project with creativity and innovation in mind.

“You know, I really think it’s important to volunteer just giving back to the community,” says committee chair Kevin Smith.

“The last few projects I’ve done, I’ve seen members that have been affected by our projects. Just their faces light up and you know, just to add that little bit more light to the world really means a lot to me.”

This year’s project was in support of Edmonton John Howard Society (EJHS)’s NOVA and the Donnelly House. EJHS works with people to eradicate the root causes of crime so to build a safe, healthy community through promoting an awareness of the problem of crime and its impact on society; encouraging greater responsibility within the community for crime prevention; and providing services to people who are, or have the potential to be, in conflict with the law or who have been victims of crime.

NOVA is a voluntary 20 bed harm reduction-focused supported living environment for youth ages 16-24 who are experiencing homelessness. Donnelly House is an eight bed 3-month transitional housing program for people over 16 who are experiencing houselessness.

The 2023 work included several elements to enhance each facility, giving them a safe and serene place to spend time in a nurturing and healing space, the opportunity for enriching outdoor experiences, and promote mental health.

Projects include:

  • Demolishing and replacing the existing perimeter fence
  • Installing new fire pits and seating
  • Upgrading and installing outdoor lighting
  • Installing Gazebos, swings and benches
  • Upgrading the existing garage space
  • Tree management to remove dead branches
Laura Roseman, volunteering with her workplace Stantec, has taken part in the Engineering Day of Caring for the last four years.

“I love being able to make a difference in the community. It’s great to come out and meet the people that you get to help and help make it make a difference,” she describes.

“You know, I’m creating this beautiful private space for them, and it’s something that I value in my own home, and I’m glad that I can share that with other people.”

Over the last 17 years, the Engineering Challenge has collectively raised over $23 million to create lasting change for a stronger, more vibrant community.

Thank you Engineering Challenge supporters

United Way would like to thank the following companies and organizations for their support in this year’s Engineering Day of Caring.

Participating engineering firms

  • Associated Engineering
  • Bantrel
  • C-Fer Technologies
  • Dialog
  • Enbridge
  • EnggYAC
  • Fluor
  • Imperial
  • ISL Engineering
  • Local Engineering
  • Magna IV Engineering
  • McElhanney Engineering
  • NDT Global Inc.
  • Rally Engineering
  • Stantec
  • Venturi
  • Worley

Inkind Sponsors

  • Fenceline Rentals Ltd.
  • Courtney Palmer
  • Lafarge
  • Snowbird Rentals
  • WorleyCord

Discounted Suppliers

  • Golden Spike Lumber
  • Doug Krupa
  • Heavy Hauler Service and Repair Ltd
  • Lowes
  • Phoenix Fence Corp
  • Rise Promotions
  • Vimark Solutions

Engineering Challenge

The Engineering Challenge is a collaboration of companies in the engineering community who come together annually in partnership with United Way to challenge each other to strengthen the Alberta Capital Region through workplace campaigns and a community engineering project.

Engineering Challenge