In early May, our beloved staff member, Eric Salitsky, passed away. Eric was a compassionate, engaging, and thoughtful person. His research on multifaith worship spaces exemplified his optimism for, and dedication to human collaboration and mutual belonging in a divided world. During his years as an architectural designer at ESKW/A he worked on a multitude of affordable and supportive housing projects including an extensive study of transitional housing for Providence House. Eric was particularly moved by this experience:
“A beautiful moment I remember with Eric happened during a visit to an occupied building where a tenant, who had been abused, requested no male presence. Eric heard this and, with such grace and haste, ran outside with so much love in his eyes for her. It was such a gentle, split-second moment where I saw a man whose life purpose was to spread love and who knew exactly how to respond.
He was filled with so much pride doing this type of work, and you could see that this was where he was supposed to be. Non-for-profit work is done by those who care immensely about people, and that’s Eric, a man so effusive and beaming with love.”
In honor of Eric’s passion for service and community building, we worked with Providence House staff to organize an outdoor Summer BBQ for the staff and resident mothers at Providence House. More than anything, we wanted to create a relaxing and fun event where everyone could enjoy each other’s company and leave feeling enriched and seen—two impressions that Eric certainly left on the lives he touched.
“So much good can come from an event like this. These moments bring together people who, on paper, don’t have much in common but still find real joy in spending time with each other. When they are done right, with thoughtfulness and respect, events like this can truly help our residents understand that they aren’t defined by their circumstances, and that they have a place in these spaces and communities. This BBQ was certainly done right and is a model for how volunteers can truly help our residents.
I didn’t know Eric, but I hope creating and celebrating that sense of community was a fitting way to honor his life and everyone here at Providence House is grateful that ESKWA chose to do so with us.
Thank you again!”
—Andrea Bell, Community Engagement Manager, Providence House
Thank you to everyone who pitched in to make this happen; our memories from this summer afternoon will live in our hearts forever!