Home Suite Hope was incorporated in January 2004 through the efforts of a small team of concerned local citizens working with representatives from the Salvation Army, who were at that time opening the Lighthouse Shelter for short term stays for homeless people. The team created a transitional housing concept founded on two main principles:
- To provide housing based on a shared living experience using existing housing stock;
- To provide appropriate training and support to residents so that eventually they could integrate back into the community.
The first property was acquired, renovated and opened in November 2004, housing a mixture of men and women in a five bedroom townhouse. By 2005, all new intakes were male only. In 2007, Home Suite Hope acquired a second property, a stand-alone residence and the first single parent family was admitted. In June 2008, a six unit apartment building was purchased and the stand-alone house was sold. Over the next eighteen months, this facility was renovated and families were moved in until Home Suite Hope was serving six families in its apartment building and four single men in the townhouse. In September 2010, Home Suite Hope moved a family into a rental unit in a large apartment building. This was the first time that rental units had been utilized and provided an opportunity to observe program experience in owned and rented accommodations.
The complexities of operating a program for single men and a very different program for single parent families, led to the decision in 2011 to concentrate the organization’s limited resources on single parent families. This was clearly the area of greatest need in the Halton community. In August, 2011, the townhouse was sold to an individual who was interested in continuing to provide affordable housing for single men. Home Suite Hope then became focused on providing housing and program support exclusively for single parent families. Since then, we have grown to accommodate twenty families in our programs with all growth occurring through the use of rental units in existing apartments buildings in Oakville and Burlington. Due to the positive experience that we have had with the rental units, in March 2014, Home Suite Hope’s Board decided to operate solely on the basis of rented units, thereby simplifying the organization’s operations and providing a better experience for our program participants.