House of Friendship has a rich, vibrant history, going back more than eight decades.

It all started in 1939, when a women’s prayer group saw a need and met it. They saw men who were struggling with hunger. The women couldn’t solve every problem, but they could solve this one. They started feeding the men warm, home-cooked meals.

Out of these humble beginnings, supported by the local Christian community, the ‘House of Friendship for All Nations’ was born. The founding director was Joseph Cramer, a Jewish Christian immigrant who had come from his home in Russia to Kitchener.

Originally, House of Friendship was a store-front mission on King Street in downtown Kitchener. It had a reading room, a dining room and provided food. The mission was a response of the local Christian community to the physical and spiritual needs of the area’s most vulnerable residents – a tradition that continues to this day.

Over the years, the work of House of Friendship has evolved into a charitable social service agency serving thousands, providing addiction treatment, food, housing, and community resources throughout Waterloo Region.

Learn More:


A Mighty Flood: The House of Friendship Story (1989)

by Ferne Burkhardt

Although it is also available in public, school and church libraries in Waterloo Region, there are no additional print copies available from House of Friendship and it is not available for reprint at this time.

Click here to read online

If you or someone you know has a copy of A Mighty Flood that could be donated to House of Friendship’s library, please contact us at 519-742-8327. Thank you.


Friend to Friend: Stories and Photos from House of Friendship (1999)

Click here to read online

Copies are also available free of charge from our office.


Creating Community: The Chandler Mowat Story (2011)

Ferne Burkhardt has captured another chapter in House of Friendship’s story. Call 519-742-8327 for your complimentary copy, made possible with support from The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation and Gore Mutual Insurance Company.


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