John Osczypko, honoured by the Sunrise Club.

I was born in Sudbury, Ontario and moved to St. Catharines in 1963 in the 4th grade. My family owned and operated Tufford Nursing Home until the early eighty's. This is where I gained a wealth of experience and knowledge and helped to set my career path.

My social service career began in 1975 in Toronto where I would in group homes for emotionally disturbed youth. In 1981 I returned to Niagara and helped to open David S Horne Observation and Detention Centre an open custody facility for young offenders.

My history with housing advocacy began in 1989 when I worked for the Community Resource and Action Centre in Welland as a Housing Mediation Worker. From there I was hired as the Executive Director to establish the Housing Help Centre (HHC) of St. Catharines and Thorold in 1990. I left the HHC in 2002 for my current position as Executive Director of Gateway Residential and Community Support Services of Niagara, a mental health housing and support service provider. Since being here we have been able to build 2 affordable housing projects; a 28 unit building at 178 King St. in Welland and a 9 unit building at 160 Ontario St. in St.Catharines. Just recently we have been approved to build 20 new units in Port Colborne.

I am a founder member of the RAFT (Resource Association for teens) Currently sit on the Board of Niagara Regional Housing Previous board member of the Niagara North Community Legal Assistance Clinic and Gateway Residence

I am a graduate of Niagara College Social Service Worker Program, Ontario Hospital Association Health Care Administration, York University Voluntary Sector Management Program and hold a national certificate in Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector Management.

One of the high lights of my career is being the recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada awarded by the Governor General of Canada.