Update on Shelter Program

House of Friendship Working with Region of Waterloo to Place All Shelter Participants by Dec. 1.

Since announcing the upcoming temporary closure of its shelter program effective Nov. 30, House of Friendship has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of community care and support.

“It has been encouraging to hear from so many people who have shared their support and concern during this challenging time,” said Executive Director John Neufeld. “This response reminds us that homelessness affects all of us, and it requires an entire community to find solutions.

“The number-one concern being shared is what will happen to the men who are currently in our shelter program,” said Neufeld. “I want to assure everyone that we are actively working with our partners at the Region of Waterloo to find interim spaces for these men, and we are confident that there will be temporary spaces for everyone to go.”

House of Friendship is working directly with the Region of Waterloo and the region-wide emergency shelter system to create short-term capacity and secure spaces for these men in the immediate term. As the winter approaches, additional capacity will be needed to support the local community, including options to open temporary spaces.

Throughout this transition period, House of Friendship is committed to supporting the temporary solutions to accomodate these men. We are working alongside our Inner City Health Alliance partners to ensure that those with complex medical needs can continue to be supported and work towards their unique health and housing goals.

“Time and time again Waterloo Region demonstrates innovative and collaborative approaches to support those most in need. I am confident we will have news to share soon on temporary solutions, as well as a longer-term plan to continue to provide the innovative ShelterCare model in partnership with the local health system and community partners,” said Neufeld.

“We remain focused on working closely with our government partners to confirm a permanent location to resume shelter operations. We appreciate the local advocacy and support we have received from our elected representatives.”

House of Friendship’s shelter has operated since 1939, providing care and support to those facing the greatest challenges to finding a permanent place to call home. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available.

This temporary closure only pertains to our shelter program. House of Friendship will continue to operate its Emergency Food Hamper program, its full range of addiction services, as well as supportive housing and region-wide programs for families living with the effects of poverty.

Posted on: November 11th, 2021

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