(Source: Raising A Roof Website)
(Source: Raising A Roof Website)
(Source: Income Security Advocacy Centre )
YWCA St. Thomas Elgin provides transitional housing to women, men, and youth. Support our Annual Keep a Roof Campaign and make a difference in the lives of individuals in your community.
Here’s how you can participate:
Donate TodayBy phone at 519-631-9800 or toll-free at 1-800-461-0954
By mail or in person at 16 Mary St. West, St. Thomas N5P 2S3
By Interac e-Transfer (secure email money transfer) from your Canadian online bank account. Please send e-transfers to our Finance Department at firstname.lastname@example.org For more details on Interac e-Transfers, please click here
Purchase a Brick or Shingle on the “Model of Hope”Be a symbol of hope! The YWCA will be displaying their “Model of Hope” (a mini model home) throughout the community during the coming year. Local businesses, individuals and organizations are encouraged to sponsor a "brick" for $500 an/or “shingle” for $250.
Spread the wordTell others about the realities of homelessness in St. Thomas & Elgin County and let people know there is a way to make a difference!
Become A Corporate SponsorIf you are a business owner we invite you to show your support through our various sponsorship levels. Click here to view our Sponsorship Opportunities Please contact Sarah Lounsbury at email@example.com to learn more.
Amy’s Story – a reflection of the housing supports offered through the YWCADuring childhood, Amy encountered many struggles. At the age of 12 she was placed with a foster family during a time when her mother was facing a number of personal challenges. After being in the care of the Children’s Aid Society for 1 year, Amy moved in with her aunt. 5 years later it was time for her to move again, this time living with her grandmother. Due to physical and verbal abuse, this living arrangement only lasted a few short months and once again Amy was in need of a place to live.
The YWCA was there to respond, by moving Amy into Harmony House. Harmony House provides young women a place to call home and the opportunity to make a healthy transition from adolescence to adulthood. When Amy first moved in to Harmony House, she would rarely come out of her room and kept to herself. With little self-esteem, her eyes were often looking down and self-harm was common practice. Amy was partnered with a Housing Based Case Manager who actively worked to develop a youth centred, trauma informed support plan focusing on her unique strengths and needs. Together they focused on life-skills, meaningful daily activities and so much more. With ongoing support over three years, Amy continued to grow. With growth, as expected there were bumps along the way. Through the advocacy of her Housing Based case Manager, Amy was referred to psychiatric services, properly diagnosed, medicated, and started ongoing therapy sessions. Amy continued to build her self-esteem and develop friendships with her roommates at Harmony House, friendships that are sure to last a lifetime. Amy seen other youth come and go, and with each new youth that walked through the door, Amy welcomed them into the home. Amy enjoyed baking and quite often the house smelt of freshly baked banana bread as I came to visit.
Amy continued to thrive and later completed the YWCA’s Youth Engagement Project where she gained employability skills training and job experience. After three years living at Harmony House, Amy transitioned to the YWCA’s Women’s Residence. This warm and inviting 21 bed residence provides emergency, transitional and long-term housing for women from all parts of Elgin County. Amy continued to actively work with her Housing Based Case Manager. After a short term stay at the Women’s Residence, Amy was offered a bachelor apartment through St. Thomas Housing. Amy accepted this unit within confidence that over the past 3 ½ years she had gained the life skills, and tools to successfully live independently. A month after Amy moved into her new apartment, she started the RECE program at Fanshawe College.
The Amy that first walked through the doors of the YWCA with her head down, is no longer, Amy now holds her head up high; with a radiant smile and looks forward to the future. Amy now knows the real meaning of ‘Welcome Home’.
Natalie’s story – a life impacted by the support of our generous donorsNatalie, age 35, was referred to the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin through a family friend. Identifying that she had hit a road block in life, needed to start focusing on making positive choices, Natalie moved into the Women’s Residence.
“I left an abusive relationship and my addictions behind me, as I walked through the doors of the YWCA. I was welcomed by a group of women, who had been through similar situations. The Women’s Residence offered more than just a roof over my head, it offered me the opportunity to heal and feel safe. I focused making positive changes, and put myself first – for the first time in many years.”
Natalie lived at the YWCA for 10 months, during her stay there were ups and downs as expected. Natalie had the support of a Housing Support Worker along the way. When Natalie transitioned from the YWCA, she moved into her own apartment, held a full-time job, had reconnected with her family, and continued to be substance free.
“The YWCA gave me the opportunity to start over, and choose a better life. I am forever grateful that I was given this opportunity.”
*Names changed to protect privacy.
Your donation will go directly into our supportive housing program.
Our housing programs are called “supportive housing” because we provide more than a roof over the heads of women, men and youth. Our residents are linked to a network of services including those that give them the opportunity to develop a variety of life skills. We help them develop life skills, set goals, increase their employability, and become better able to contribute to their community and broader society.
To learn more about our Supportive Housing program and our 6 residences (Horizon House, Unity House, Harmony House, Fairwinds for Youth, YWCA Women’s Residence and Second Story our Men’s Residence), please CLICK HERE