Over the course of seven years, he created Vincent Paul Family Homes Corporation, a non-profit organization, as a way to mobilize the community and raise funds for affordable housing. Nick remained actively involved in this endeavor right up to his final days.
Nick started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Toronto in 1993 and served on the Board of Directors from 1994 to 2002, and was the Chair from 1998 to 2002. After 2002, Nick continued his service to the Board in an advisory role. Nick was a tireless champion of both Habitat for Humanity and the families it served. Under Nick’s leadership, Habitat Toronto significantly increased its capacity to build homes for more families.
In addition, and over the years, Nick was Provincial Chair of St. Vincent de Paul, Chair of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, a Member of Dixon Hall Community Services, the Ontario Non Profit Housing Association, the Rooftops Canada-Abri International Board, the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition, and long-time active Member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish.
Nick’s ties with Habitat International Coalition (HIC) date back to his role as representative of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association followed by his mandate as North American Region Representative to the HIC Board between January 2008 and December 2011. Nick became HIC Friend in 2006 and kept on making very valuable contributions to the broader Coalition. He participated in numerous HIC global events (Cairo 2005, Vancouver 2006, Barcelona 2008, Nanjin 2008, Cairo 2009, Belem 2009, Rio 2010) and he also volunteered for the Electoral Committees of the 2013 and 2017 HIC-NAM elections; Nick’s contributions were always very much appreciated.
Nick has been honoured with a number of recognitions. Notable among these is the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2003 for significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to the community in Canada or abroad, and the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association International Award in 2013 for outstanding work to advance international collaboration and dialogue among affordable housing leaders around the world and for contributions to international professional exchanges.
Nick was a restless fighter for social justice and the right to housing, a life-long supporter and friend of Habitat International Coalition. HIC Members and staff were very honoured to be his friends.
“Find a need. Ask what you can do to help. And do it”. (Nick Volk)