Aug. 2, 2023
Kitchener, ON – On Wednesday, staff and residents of Eby Village and Charles Village gathered in their newly renovated Activity Room to share a collaborative art project. Together, they celebrated the chance to come together as a community after experiencing the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the event, House of Friendship also celebrated a $150,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to help them rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
The one-time grant, awarded over 12 months, helped address some of the challenges residents of House of Friendship’s Supportive Housing program have faced over the last few years. Many Supportive Housing tenants have lived experience with homelessness, and the increased isolation brought on by the pandemic posed significant setbacks for individuals struggling with mental health and addiction.
The $150,000 grant allowed House of Friendship to create a Tenant Liaison role to find ways to build connection and belonging for program participants. The funding also supported renovations to three communal spaces, encouraging tenants to gather together as a community after the lifting of COVID restrictions.
“Our priority has been to create a sense of community that was lost during these last few years.” said Alyssa Stephens, Tenant Liaison. “Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we have been able to do this and more. We also have the opportunity to create new programs and activities tailored to our participants’ needs and interests. It’s been exciting to see so many community members coming out of their apartments and connecting with each other once again.”
Founded in 1939, House of Friendship serves Waterloo Region with a vision to build a healthy community where everyone can belong and thrive. Each year, House of Friendship walks with individuals and families who need food, housing, addiction treatment, or access to vital community resources. For more information, visit www.houseoffriendship.org.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships. Visit otf.ca to learn more.
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