Homeless. Unsheltered. Unhoused. There are many ways to describe the same thing; the lack of a safe and stable place to live. A safe, warm place to sleep and live is something every Canadian should have
According to the Canadian Definition of Homelessness, homelessness is “the situation of an individual, family, or community without stable, safe, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect means and ability of acquiring it.” Many of us return each day to the warmth and security of our own homes, yet for over 1,000+ residents of Waterloo region, this is not true. Safe and Affordable Housing is one of the focus themes of Kindred’s Community Inspiration Framework and we recognize shelter as a human right.
On September 29, Kindred staff members toured House of Friendship’s new site on Weber Street in Waterloo, and presented their team with the first of two $30,000 annual contributions. In support of ShelterCare, Kindred has contributed to House of Friendship’s ‘Adopt-a-Room’. ShelterCare addresses both the housing and health care needs of men experiencing homelessness in Waterloo Region.
House of Friendship has been working to address complex issues facing community members including housing, addiction treatment, and food security since 1939. Key features of ShelterCare include “developing a housing plan, working side by side to develop life skills like cleaning and laundry, and health care supports such as primary care, vision clinic, and additional services”. Kindred staff were fortunate to tour ShelterCare and learn more about the unique program, the range of services offered, and the impact it has made. The level of thoughtful attention and care has created a space that feels like home. Since the program opened in February 2023, ShelterCare has had 100 men join the program of which three have been housed and 15 are employed.
We are proud to support local organizations like House of Friendship who address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in our community with an innovative response to a complicated challenge. Ian Thomas, CEO of Kindred, noted “Kindred has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with House of Friendship and we are pleased to continue our support of the important work that they do. We consider it a privilege to Adopt-A-Room through the ShelterCare model.”
Kindred will continue our support of ShelterCare in 2024, and our ongoing work to support organizations across all eight of our branch communities through our Community Inspiration Framework.