Posts Tagged ‘eby village’

Wonderfully Messy: The State of Our Housing Programs Today

July 11, 2014


House of Friendship's Awesome Wall

Deb poses with the part of the Awesome Wall that she helped create.  A public art feature that symbolizes a part of the new energy bubbling up in the Supportive Housing Program at House of Friendship

“Supportive housing combines bricks-and-mortar with special supports to meet the physical and mental health needs of tenants.” (Source here) Ensuring that residents have Housing First, and then also a comprehensive range of supports, supportive housing proposes to be more empowering, more likely to help people live happy, healthy and meaningful lives than shelters or other short term housing approaches.

Building bridges and supporting communities

But what does this look like in practice? A quick glance at downtown Kitchener shows how delightfully messy the process can be!

House of Friendship has created a unique space in downtown Kitchener. They have a series of adjoining properties on Charles Street and Eby Street in downtown Kitchener. Eby Village, Charles Village, the Men’s Hostel and Cramer House all serve a diverse set of needs and now, there is something happening here that ignores the walls and gates in between these House of Friendship buildings.

Residents from Eby Village show up at Cramer House to play pool with some new friends. A few men from the hostel plant flowers for the neighborhood on Eby Street that a few Supportive Housing tenants will hand out to bridge the gap between Supportive Housing and the greater community. Catherine the Community Garden Worker works with tenants to create green spaces around the buildings. “I think that community gardens and green spaces bring so much to all of those around them: connection, hard work, fresh air, the pleasure of green, vibrant spaces and the magic of watching something transform right in front of you. It is exciting to help to cultivate these spaces with all of the buildings and slowly watch them grow.” (more…)

Good things growing at Eby Village

April 19, 2013

House of Friendship is very enthusiastic about community gardens—we’ve got a big one at each community centre, a small garden here at the Emergency Food Hamper Program, and one is starting up this year at Eby Village!

Eby Village is a supportive housing building run by the House of Friendship. There are 64 tenants and the staff really try to foster a good sense of community. When I visit Eby Village I can tell everyone knows each other and they all get along really well.

To continue fostering a tight knit environment and friendly atmosphere, Eby Village is taking on an urban greening project this spring and summer. They have hired a part time staff person to coordinate, and there are already fifteen tenants who are meeting weekly to plan the garden. The plan is to make raised beds at the front of Eby for vegetables, and these will be high enough to be accessible for people who have trouble bending over. In the shady back area, they are planning a woodland garden, with pathways and lots of native plants. While the front area will be fairly active as residents grow vegetable plants, the woodland garden is meant to be a calm getaway that can reduce stress for residents.

An example of an accessible garden--high enough so people in wheelchairs and with other mobility issues can easily plant and weed.

An example of an accessible garden–high enough so people in wheelchairs and with other mobility issues can easily plant and weed.

I had the opportunity to talk with Allison, the supervisor at Eby, about why they want to start the garden. She says, “the urban greening project will provide tenants with the tools and opportunity to grow their own nutritious food, rejuvenate the urban space surrounding their building and develop together as a community.”


Feeding our furry (or feathered!) friends

April 15, 2013

The other day I was browsing the ALIV(e) (Awareness of Low Income Voices) blog, and came across this post, where Teri-Lee talks about how much her cats mean to her. In her words, “my cats give me a reason to get up in the morning and a feeling of being needed and loved. They give me a reason to laugh. When I feel down and alone, my cats make me feel secure and worth the effort of being.” Her post made me think of my own pets and how important they are to me, and of all the people who come in for hampers and ask for cat food, dog food, or even bird food for their animal friends.

Georgie is a dog without a home. Adopt him from the Humane Society!

Georgie is a dog without a home. Adopt him from the Humane Society!

A few years ago Matt wrote this post about giving out pet food. Many people who come in for food for themselves also come for food for their pet, usually a cat or dog. In fact, in a typical month about 17% of people we serve ask for pet food, which is over 400 hampers. We give out pet food whenever we have it, and many people are thrilled to get some food to get their furry friend through the week. This is a great service, but sometimes I am asked questions like “why do people coming in for food have a pet when they can’t even feed themselves?”

This is an important question and one I’d like to answer in this blog post. Being able to care for a pet is more complicated than simply having money, and everyone deserves to have the companionship and health benefits that come with having a pet.


Tuesdays, À la Social Service Intern

January 24, 2012

To continue with a bit of an inside scoop on my work as the Social Service Intern with House of Friendship, here is a post describing a typical Tuesday for me.

At 8:30am, I arrive at Eby Village, another one of House of Friendship’s programs. Built in 1990, this is an affordable, supportive housing program for single men and women. The tenants and staff work together to make Eby an amazing place of community. Here, I get the privilege of hanging out with the staff and tenants of the program, and working to support the tenants in different areas they may need support.

The staff at Eby Village are always joyful and fun to be around. The Eby office is always full of energy and laughs, while remaining a place for tenants to come to receive support. The two support workers, Walter and Ashley, work to support tenants in various areas. (more…)

Food and Community at Eby Village

October 27, 2010

As an intern for House of Friendship, I have the unique privilege of being a part of multiple House of Friendship programs, not just Emergency Food Hampers. This position affords me a glimpse into many facets of the whole organization, which, outside of orientation or HOF101, few employees get to see. In light of the conversation that framed this year’s annual staff retreat, the topic of food strikes me as another aspect of our continued connectedness as an organization.

For those of you who do not know or could not attend, the staff retreat is a once-a-year gathering of House of Friendship employees from all its programs. Hosted at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp, it is a one day ‘time-out’ that brings everyone together for a time of reflection, relaxation and fellowship. The theme of this year’s retreat was ‘HOF Connected’.

I commented in my first post that I was gaining a new awareness of the way that food unites us all; each of us requires food to lead healthy, happy lives. I am reaching the same conclusion about House of Friendship. The more time I spend in this role, the more I can see the diverse programs within this agency are also connected by food in some capacity.

In this post, I’d like to share what that looks like at Eby Village, one of House of Friendship’s affordable, supportive housing programs. Opened in 1990, this nine story apartment building provides permanent housing for sixty-four single adults. Though it falls under residential services, Eby Village is much more than a stable place to live. The tenants and staff transform what is otherwise only a building filled with individuals into a space of community and interdependence. Simply put, it feels like the home of one giant family. (more…)