Compassion, Community, and Commitment
Compassion – a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Supportive Housing of Waterloo has, at its’ very foundation, a philosophy of deep compassion which was the driver for each and every individual, faith group and community group that determined the most appropriate response to homelessness, was to build homes for those in need. The dedication, persistence and commitment to housing and supporting those who had little hope of a better future, is nothing short of inspirational, and continues to drive our work forward, to create more housing for those in need. But our work is not simply about housing, it is about ensuring housing stability, security, improving health and life expectancy, and building community in a way which empowers our tenants to live with dignity.
Though most of us have not had to try to survive on the street, stuffing our donated shoes with newspaper to keep our feet dry, or wondering how we might access some food or basic health care, the will to survive is infused with a desperate hope that one day, life may improve. It is your compassion that makes the difference between homelessness and hope, between marginalization, loneliness and poverty, to a roof, a home, a bed, a community of caring.
Community – a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
Building community at SHOW is as important as providing counseling, housing or any of the plethora of other supports we offer our tenants, but I believe one of the most vital, for without a sense of belonging our tenants will continue to feel isolated and alone. Many whom we house and support have not had the experience of community before moving in to SHOW, but through inclusion in activities, in celebrating holiday meals or Friday night dinners, in working diligently to help our tenants address those challenges which have separated them from community, we succeed.
Consider the tenant who was taken to church as a very small child, and abandoned there. What followed was a succession of foster homes where he was beaten, raped, ignored, until he decided as a young teen ager to escape. No skills, no family, no home, no community for over 25 years until he came to 362 Erb St. West. SHOW has 30 apartments, 30 life stories of fear and loss, hopelessness and loneliness, which we support our tenants to turn into lives of victory, acceptance and security.
It is you, the larger community, that has made this possible and will continue to support us to create housing for the many in our Region for whom lives depend.
Commitment -a willingness to give your time and energy to something that you believe in, or a promise or firm decision to do something.
One building of 30 units was the beginning of a commitment to create housing and a continuum of supports for those marginalized by poverty, by homelessness or other barriers to housing stability. To fulfill this commitment, and in recognition of the success our tenants have achieved, we determined that in order to make way for those at the beginning of their housing stability journey, we needed to find a way to make more high support units available, our solution is simple. Build more housing. 402 Erb St. West is a 9 unit building which will be comprised of one bedroom apartments for those who have attained a level of housing stability that does not rely on intensive staffing supports. It is our opportunity to transition the most stable of our tenants to more independent living, while making available the more intensive supports to new tenants. However, to achieve this end, we need your commitment and compassion, we need you to demonstrate your support, to be the link between community and isolation.
402 Erb St. West is a 9 unit, independent living building designed for older adults, some seniors, some prematurely aged. One unit will be fully accessible for an adult with severe mobility issues, but all of the units will meet VisitAble standards, wider doorways, an elevator and other in unit supports to assist aging in place.
We need your help in order to turn this from plans on a sheet of paper to bricks and mortar. Put a roof over someone’s head or a pillow under it, every donation is translated into furthering this initiative, you will not only be building a structure, you will be building community by sharing your compassion and commitment with us.
Support – please contribute to Supportive Housing of Waterloo Region’s campaign.