Brenda and Len Jewitt, Long-Time SHOW Friends, Discuss the Importance of Affordable Housing

When we have the opportunity to speak to you, our donors and supporters, many of you tell us that your journey with SHOW began when you first met Gael. She is a champion of supportive and affordable housing in the Waterloo Region, and she often speaks at various events and to different groups, which include church congregations.

Similarly, this is how Brenda and Len Jewitt met Gael and learned about SHOW several years ago. “We were very much touched by her passion and by the scope, need and impact of this work,” reflected Brenda. The need for what SHOW does and provides is a matter that is quite literally close to home for the Jewitts, as many aspects of their lives take place in the area of Erb Street, where our buildings are located.

Since meeting Gael, the Jewitts have become consistent supporters of SHOW and when we asked them why, they had a very simple answer: housing is a basic need. Brenda and Len’s careers focused on other basic needs, food and education, so they found it fitting that in their retirement they continue helping others achieve access to basic needs.

Having been away for years, the Jewitts soon recognized the need for affordable housing when they returned to Waterloo Region. They understand that housing has become very expensive and as a result it is out of reach for even more people than it used to be. They want to help provide basic needs, such as affordable housing, so people in our community can have a real chance at living with meaning, dignity and wholeness.

Although the statistics and stories regarding the lack of affordable housing can be discouraging, the Jewitts do believe that there is still development and progress that can be made: “Individuals, organizations of all sorts, and governments must work together.” Prior to leaving (and returning to) the Waterloo Region, the only real awareness of community housing the Jewitts had was that of emergency housing. Since their return, they have noted that various kinds of housing initiatives have been founded and supported by multiple sectors of the community, including individuals, non-profits, private businesses, and faith communities.

Brenda and Len are continuously touched by the stories of different organizations coming together to address the need for affordable housing in our community, which inspires them to continue to offer support. They understand that this commitment will bring prosperous changes not only to the lives of individuals and families, but to our community. It is their belief that we all need to come together and support the progress toward affordable housing, because “we are called to care for one another.”

We are grateful that Brenda and Len Jewitt have chosen to support us and we are able to continue showing them the positive changes we make every day in people’s lives. Together, with the support of the Jewitts and our other supporters, like you, we hope that we can continue making progress toward affordable housing for everyone. Housing is not only a need, but it is a right that everyone deserves to have. “By sharing our story, we hope others may also see the need and be challenged to support this or whatever worthy cause inspires them.”

Thank you, Brenda and Len, for sharing your story and inspiring our community to come together to support each individual.