Local hero 2010 Matt Hern

Nominated by his daughter Sadie

I nominate Matt Hern. Matt lives and works in Eastvan and has for nearly 20 years now. Matt stared the Purple Thhislte Centre, a non-profit resource centre for youth which has been running for nearly 10 years now. The Purple Thistle provides training, resources, and support for youth (at risk and not). It is collectively run by youth, but Matt administrates the whole thing. All of its services are free, because of the phenomenal work that Matt does. He works tirelessly for little to no pay to make sure that the place stays afloat. http://www.purplethistle.ca/

Matt also started the Car Free Vancouver Day. In 2005 it began just on Commercial Drive, but its fun and positive message spread and this year festivals will be happening on Commercial Drive, in the West End, Kits and Main street. The car-free festivals are so much fun, and revolve around the important message of community instead of cars. http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

Less formally, the past few summers Matt has hosted a series of Potlucks in the park near his house (Victoria Park). The aim was to build community by bringing people in the community together through food. Middle class and people living on the street got a chance to connect with each other over a tasty meal.

On a personal level, Matt also provides endless support for countless teenagers and young adults who seek out his guidance. His house is usually filled with people, some over for a good time, some for some solid advice about their future. And the hospitality does not end with dinnertime, Matt has opened his doors to hug numbers of people over the years. Kids who have been kicked out of their house, people passing though looking for an apartment, people going through divorces.

Matt is also a loving partner and father. He is always supportive, constantly present and always provides wise advice. He is my Eastvan hero. He also happens to be my father. http://www.mightymatthern.com/?page_id=130


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