With the limited resources we have as a Society we have to try to be creative in finding ways to help in anyway we can with the problem of homelessness. This project we participated in recently was to work with Garth Brown on his Mary’s Ark home. Garth, his team of volunteers and Hamilton’s St. Patrick’s Church (De Mazenod Door Outreach) deserve all of the credit for this project, we are happy to have helped in a very small way.
Solving the housing crisis – One home at a time!
Homelessness is on the rise and shelters are turning away men and women every night of the year. Private investors and homeowners, including Vincentians, can now consider playing a role in solving the housing crisis…one person or one family at a time.
By-laws in all municipalities now allow homeowners to create legal secondary suites. They can be in, attached or even detached from the principal residence. These one-, two- or three-bedroom units can provide subsidized housing for an individual or family on the housing wait list. The homeowner benefits from increased equity in their home, $1,000 or more in positive monthly cashflow and residents able and willing to help with snow shoveling, gardening and other activities around the home!
Investors can individually or collectively come together to purchase a house that can become a congregate home for men, women or families coming from the shelters operated by Mission Services, Good Shepherd and other agencies. These agencies also provide outreach for the people that transition from the shelters to their new home.
Aligning with Hamilton’s St. Patrick’s Church (De Mazenod Door Outreach), Lynette and Garth Brown purchased a home two years ago called Eugene’s Place (named after Saint Eugene De Mazenod) that provides affordable housing for men. The men have shared how having safe secure and affordable
housing has taken the stress away and allowed them to focus on their studies, employment and other ambitions!
Two months ago another home was purchased called Mary’s Ark. Renovations are now complete and this past week women coming from Hamilton’s shelters moved in and now call Mary’s Ark home! This would not have been possible without the volunteer efforts and donations from family, friends, total strangers and Vincentians who have given of their time, talents and treasures to make this house a home. A very special thanks goes to the St. Vincent de Paul stores on Barton Street and Parkdale Avenue. Their donations and delivery of furnishings helped to make the house feel like home for the new residents!
Have a look inside Mary’s Ark:
This outpouring of support is a reflection of our faith in action. May God bless all those who have contributed to these homes and the residents who live in them.
Should you be interested in being part of the solutions above or have other ideas, please contact Garth Brown at 416-459-2730 or firstname.lastname@example.org.