A letter from Sara
Home Suite Hope works to change the trajectory of people’s lives by disrupting generational poverty at its roots. We do this by offering a helping hand up to homeless single parent led families; wrapping all necessary and individualized services around each family to ensure that they obtain the tools necessary to become self-sufficient. Our programming works from a Housing First principle, that is an understanding that individuals need a safe and secure roof over their heads before they can start working through the myriad of barriers that may be preventing self-sufficiency.
All participants are granted a housing subsidy, take part in a full year of life skills training and are connected to supports ranging from foodbanks, counselling and childcare to referrals to other services. Participants who have the aptitude and attitude are provided with full scholarships to attend two-year diploma programs at Sheridan College. They are provided with transportation and book costs as well as one-to-one mentorship by female leaders at Sheridan. During this time the participants take part in professional development workshops and work with our Industry Council to become job ready. Once the participants obtain employment, we begin to scale back services until they are fully self-sufficient.
The amazing thing about this four-year wrap around approach is that we know it works!! Prior to COVID-19, one hundred percent of Home Suite Hope graduates were no longer receiving social assistance, were working full-time, and were paying market rent independently. Since the onset of COVID-19 and accompanying inflation rates, we have experienced a decline of those graduating able to manage market rentals. Ninety-one percent of Homeward Bound graduates exited with employment, however, only 73 per cent are able to pay market-rent independently. We now have four of our graduates’ children enrolled in post-secondary school. This is what stopping generational reliance on social assistance looks like!
None of this would be possible without the community members wrapping their arms around our
organization. The impact of our organization is dependent upon not only our amazing community partners (Halton Region, Sheridan College, Oakville Community Foundation, YMCA of Oakville, Food For Life) but also heavily dependent upon all of our corporate and individual donors. As a not-for-profit, all of our programming is dependent on a combination of government grants, service clubs, foundations, faith-based grants, fundraising events, corporate and individual donations.
As we strategically plan and budget to allocate funds to our programs and families, we are keenly aware of the difficulties that high rates of inflation will bring to our organization. We are hoping that the champions that have invested into building a better community will continue to support us as we help all our families end their cycle of poverty. We also understand that not everyone is in the position to give financially, but still want to get involved in other ways.
The Ways of Giving to HSH newsletter has been written to showcase all the ways that you can support the work that we do at Home Suite Hope. From weekly, to monthly or annual automated donations, to corporate sponsorships, or becoming a partner in change and sponsoring one family through their journey. Or perhaps you have experience with event planning, employment and
support connections, or expertise in the field, which are needed on committees like the Industry Council or Board of Director committees, or willing to simply connect us to other resources and networks. Every connection and contribution, whether big or small, helps us reach our annual goals and continue to help single parents permanently change their lives for the better.
On behalf of Home Suite Hope, I thank you for all the support and kindness you share with us.
Please be well, safe and happy over this holiday season.
In deepest gratitude,
Sara Cumming, PhD
HSH Executive Director