You are Providing A Fresh Start for Joan

Two people holding a food hampers

You are ensuring that Joan can get a fresh start in a new community, by providing food and more.

Joan* doesn’t know where she would be without House of Friendship.

Every week, Joan receives food deliveries through the Kingsdale Neighbourhood Food program – delivered to her door because Joan is unable to pick it up herself.

Joan has been living in Kitchener since 2016. She moved here suddenly after escaping horrific abuse.

For a time Joan lived in a shelter. When an affordable housing unit became available in Waterloo Region, Joan jumped at the chance.

“I just needed somewhere safe to live.”

Joan was soon connected to the services at Kingsdale and found a community where she could begin again.

As a trained chef, Joan found it healing to volunteer her time with the food programs at Kingsdale.

“It gave me a sense of direction and purpose, a regular routine. It was somewhere to go, and it was fantastic to be able to give back. That meant something.”

However, growing health challenges soon meant that she couldn’t keep up her volunteer role.

But the lifeline of support she receives continues. Alissa, a Neighbourhood Development Worker at House of Friendship, brings Joan food from Kingsdale every week, and makes sure she’s okay.

“Alissa is a godsend,” said Joan. “I have severe dietary restrictions, yet somehow, Alissa still finds food I can eat.”

Joan continues to volunteer her expertise as a chef, providing advice on recipes and food for various program participants with similar dietary challenges. And while she has endured so much in her life, she knows there’s still a lot to be thankful for.

Joan said she appreciates that the community centre provides her with more than food – it’s a resource that connects her to other services.

“If the community centre doesn’t do it, they’ll find someone who does.”

“My community centre is so amazing,” said Joan. “And while there are things I can’t do, there are things I can. I can still give back, and it feels good.”

Your support of Neighbourhood Food programs ensures that women like Joan get the fresh start they need. Thank you!

*name changed to preserve privacy.

Posted on: April 12th, 2024

Sign up for Friendship News!

Learn more about how you can make a difference and ensure that everyone can belong and thrive in Waterloo Region! Receive inspirational stories about how you are making a difference right to your inbox.