HOPE House operates and advocates on the belief that poverty, food insecurity, inequality, health and community are all interconnected. We were founded in 2012 by Lakeside Church, who saw a need to provide a safe, welcoming space where people living in poverty could enter a community that supports them and provides them with the resources they need with dignity and choice.
Everything our agency does sets out to build the physical, spiritual, relational, and emotional resources needed for community members to thrive. Our Social Determinants of Health based intake process was developed specifically to catch those who might otherwise fall through the cracks and to prevent crisis before it happens. We check in on the resources the individual has at the time of intake and collaborate with the individual to identify needs and ways to meet those needs through the programs offered at HOPE House and the community at large.
We offer immediate relief and ongoing support services and programs that challenge the stigmas surrounding poverty while simultaneously providing people with tactile skills developed in a community environment; it is not about a hand-out but rather offering people a hand-up, creating long-term skills that facilitate self-sufficiency. Our front-line services and supports include a choice-based, bucks-based Food Market, HOPE Stylin’ Haircuts and Clothing Bureau, Edu-Kitchen programs, HOPE-in-Motion, a Back-to-School Backpack Program, a daily Café, Christmas hampers, creative expressive outlets, and more to any Guelph resident (including children) living in poverty. You can learn more about our programs here: http://lakesidehopehouse.ca/services/
On February 24th, 2018 we are excited to host the Coldest Night of the Year – a super-fun, family-friendly fundraiser for hungry, homeless, and hurting individuals and families across Canada. Walkers can choose from a 2km, 5km, or 10km route. Participation in the Coldest Night of the Year helps to raise awareness and funds to address the needs of individuals and families experiencing poverty within our community. All proceeds raised go directly to HOPE House. To register as a team, an individual walker, or as a volunteer, please visit https://cnoy.org/location/guelph
Article co-written by: Kimberly Lyons, Development & Communications Lead, and Mary Crome, Ongoing Support Manager at Lakeside HOPE House