By Sara Cumming, HSH Executive Director
Happy New Year to the entire Home Suite Hope community. We hope you all are as enthusiastic about the opportunities coming in 2023 as we are.
The holidays were a time for rest, recharging and reflection at HSH.
Facing the transition between the old and new years gave the entire team some much needed time and perspective to carefully consider what we have heard and learned from our incredible community support network over the last 12 months.
Sufficed to say there are a lot of new events and initiatives coming in 2023, informed by our invaluable and generous contributors, that we are looking forward to sharing with you in due course.
This is going to be a pivotal year in our growth and we are working hard to be strategic about next steps in order that our families and organization have the best possible opportunities to achieve their full potential.
The first development we are proud to announce and with thanks to every individual affiliated with HSH is that we are, officially, as of January 1, 2023, a living wage employer in Halton.
This is such an important milestone for us to reach and has real world and symbolic significance that extends far beyond our doors.
First, we could not have made this leap without the support of our donors who are not only champions of supporting single parent families, but who are also vocal and passionate about us setting the example we want to see in the rest of the world.
We heard your challenge and we have risen to it.
As we all know, Halton Region is one of the most expensive places to live in Canada. By committing to be a living wage employer we are strengthening and stabilizing the workforce of our community.
We are also signalling to the community that HSH is a leader in best practices. We aren’t holding others to any standard that we ourselves aren’t willing to also meet and that is a mission-critical message to send.
Breaking the cycle of poverty can often feel like an overwhelming goal — sometimes the challenges appear insurmountable. If our community knows they have a true partner in Home Suite Hope — that we are working just as hard as they are to make a difference inside and outside of our organization — then the big asks we make for their support, advocacy and mentorship for our families are less daunting.
We can now say to every person we ask for help, “This is our rallying cry. We are blazing the trail in Halton for how to be an ethical, fair and community-minded force for good. Come join us and see how we will leverage our expertise and experience to make your contributions have the biggest impact possible.”
And we are doing the right thing by our employees. They are the beating heart of Home Suite Hope. There would be no programing, no outreach, no growth and no success stories without our staff who go above and beyond for each of our families.
Every day they navigate the challenges, heartbreaks and small victories that come with breaking the cycle of poverty; wearing hats of all different shapes and colour to do it and using every tool in the kit to help our single parents.
It is our responsibility as an organization built on a mission to “transform the patterns of poverty to a legacy of empowered prosperity” to ensure our employees are fairly compensated for the essential work they do in the Halton region.
Finally, on a personal level, I am so honoured to be surrounded by colleagues, contributors and a community that is unequivocal in their belief that being a living wage employer is not only the right step for HSH, but the only step.
The work we do is rewarding, but it is indescribably difficult at times. Knowing that we have the support of our dedicated network in our corner who supports and encourages us to do the right thing makes all the difference.
So, thank you for continuing to hold us to the highest standards. We look forward to continuing to be known as Halton’s not-for-profit to emulate and can’t wait to share all the big news for 2023.