All posts by Inter-Faith Housing Initiative

General Meeting: June 7, 2012

Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative on Homelessness & Affordable Housing
General Meeting
June 7, 2012, 10:00- 12:00pm
Bob McKeon welcomed everyone and offered regrets from Archbishop Richard Smith who was unavailable to attend. Bob explained the intent of the meeting was to focus on how we can specifically help aboriginal people with the obstacles they face in regards to homelessness and obtaining affordable housing.
Limited time was allotted for updates, but the following information was shared with the plenary group:

Sr. Mary Clare-Catholic Social Services
Welcome Home Program
CSS has presented to 9 of the 12 Housing First teams. Jackie Bass, program director, has been interviewing the possible volunteers. Kaeli Freehan and Clare Rolheiser have been helping to train and screen volunteers.
The fund referred to as the Discretionary Fund in the past, is now referred to as the Activity Fund. The money collected in this fund is to allow the Welcome Home volunteers and their match an opportunity to enjoy community outings without fiscal burdens. A fund of $40.00/month per match has been budgeted. This fund enables both the Housing First participant and the volunteer to plan activities together, without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. This is an important part of the program, but requires donated contributions to be available. Please see the letter explaining this program and need for donations. (attached).
Kaeli Freehan-Catholic Social Services
Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Build
Habitat for Humanity is one of the options stated in the Congregational Housing Action Guide for Edmonton Religious and Spiritual Communities prepared by the Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative. It was suggested at the Interfaith Steering Committee meeting early in the year, that the steering committee encourage their religious communities to come together and volunteer together with Habitat for Humanity.
The goal for the May Interfaith build was to provide 110 volunteers. The goal was met and exceeded with 120 volunteers. Further, many congregations are continuing to sign up for shifts. Special recognition was given to McClure United Church who provided 25 volunteers and supplied lunch for 5 days. This was a very big contribution from such a small congregation!
Habitat for Humanity contacted representatives from the Interfaith Housing group and invited them to a debriefing meeting of the build which took place on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. There is a recommendation that we do another interfaith habitat build in 2013.
Information about volunteering with Habitat for Humanity can be found at http://www.hfh.org or by phoning the volunteer coordinator at 780-451-3416.

Brian Kiely-United Church of Edmonton
Welcome Home Congregational Workshops
Sr. Mary Clare and Brian Kiely have been providing congregational workshops to educate people on the many ways they can assist with challenge of Homelessness and Affordable Housing. The Congregational Housing Action Guide is used to walk participants through some of the options available and let the parish choose which volunteer activity/strategies would be the right fit for them. If anyone is interested in hosting a workshop, please contact Brian Kiely at brikie@aol.com . Also, there is a DVD of Sr. Mary Clare’s presentation, specifically on the Welcome Home Program, available for viewing.
There is a committee currently working to create a revised version of the Congregational Housing Action Guide which they hope will be ready for publishing in the fall 2012. Please contact Bob McKeon at sjustice@caedm.ca if you have any suggestions for revisions or additions.

Jay Freeman-Executive Director of the Homeless Commission
Edmonton Homeless Commission
Jay spoke briefly about entering into Edmonton’s 4th year of the 10 year plan to end homelessness. Recently, the year 3 update has been made available and it is available for viewing at http://www.endedmontonhomelessness.com . Jay was pleased to announce that over 1800 people have been housed with 85% retention rate to date.

Pam Reichenbach-Do Likewise Society
Neighbor Center
Many homeless people are choosing to live on the south side of the city but there are few services in south Edmonton for people in need. The Neighbor Centre is an initiative of the Edmonton Do Likewise Society. It will be a small scale storefront outreach centre located at 7221 104 street. Pam shared that they are currently looking for volunteers skilled in the building trades or experienced in doing renovations as they work to renovate an old restaurant into the outreach center. If you are able to help, please contact Pam at pam@dolikewisesociety.org or call (780) 439-3654.
Those present were introduced to Larry McCormick their new program director.

Dave Ward
Homeward Trust
Dave Ward, Director of Aboriginal Relations at Homeward Trust, presented an in-service on the over-representation of Aboriginals experiencing homelessness. He shared his personal experience of growing up in an Aboriginal family, the sacrifices that were made in order to obtain a post-secondary education, and his unique perspective on the homelessness crisis. Offering suggestions on incorporating Aboriginal
tradition into new practices enlightened the audience on the “walk with” and “Education is our Buffalo” philosophies.
The presentation was divided into 2 sections, Aboriginal Identity and Homeward Trust. We were educated on the different Aboriginal groups in Canada and specifically in Alberta.
With the use of statistics on Aboriginal over-representation in the foster care system, prisons and those living in below standard housing, he was able to clearly state the immense need for specific intervention strategies.
Dave provided a comprehensive overview of all the ways Homeward Trust funds and coordinates efforts to end homelessness in Edmonton. Provincial and federal funding make up the majority of their budget to run their many initiatives. These initiatives include, Housing First, capital projects, planning & research and Aboriginal relations. From offering frontline support including the supply of household furniture through FIND:Furniture Bank, to the recognition of required further research Homeward Trust is an essential organization. Members of faith communities are invited to donate gently-used furniture, kitchen & household items, and household electronics to the Furniture Bank. For pick-up services call 780-988-1717.
A You tube video was shared featuring MP Charlie Angus on First Nation Peoples living in below standard conditions. It can be viewed at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVrDEA39iag
A very sincere thank you to Dave Ward for sharing his knowledge and personal stories in his presentation. Dave’s obvious passion for bettering the lives of others Homelessness is inspiring.

Upcoming Events:

  • October 16, 2012 Homeless Street Count
  • October 21, 2012 Homeless Connect

Volunteers are needed for both of these events.
Please contact Homeward Trust for more information at 780-780-496-2630 or visit http://www.homewardtrust.ca/home.php
Visit us at the Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative on Homelessness and Affordable Housing Website located at https://interfaithhousinginitiative.wordpress.com/

Next General Meeting of the Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative will be in scheduled in September 2012.

Welcome Home Program Workshop

Interested in learning more about Homelessness, the Congregational Housing Action Guide, and the “Welcome Home” program?

You are invited to a workshop on homelessness for members of congregations in the NE quadrant of Edmonton, sponsored by the Archdiocesan Office for Social Justice and the Interfaith Housing Initiative.  It is an opportunity to learn more about homelessness in our City, to reflect on attitudes, and to explore what church congregations can do to assist in Edmonton’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.  Also included is an introduction to the new “Welcome Home” program- a befriending program which matches folks from the Interfaith community with newly housed individuals from Housing First Agencies.  The support of the volunteers helps reduce the loneliness and social isolation faced by many newly housed individuals.

 Details:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

St. Thomas More Church, 210 Haddow Close

Facilitators:  Members of the Interfaith Housing Initiative.

The workshop is open to anyone, but may be of particular interest to congregants in the SW quadrant of the City.

Thursday, June 14, 2012, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

St. Alphonsus Parish, 11828-85 Street (east side entrance)

Facilitators: members of the Interfaith Housing Initiative

The workshop is open to anyone, but may be of particular interest to congregants in the NE part of the City.

Kindly RSVP to Sr. Mary Clare Stack, uj

sister.maryclare@catholicsocialservices.ab.ca

or (780) 378-2455 or (780) 863-1597 (cell)

Edmonton’s First Interfaith Build to Begin in May

Habitat for Humanity volunteers gather at Anderson Gardens’ dedication ceremony.
A new partnership between Habitat for Humanity Edmonton and the Capital Region Interfaith Initiative will see volunteers assisting with our community’s first Interfaith Build. The initiative will begin May 2nd and will conclude on May 31st.

With support from the Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton will recruit five volunteers per day up to a maximum of 110 from various faith communities. These individuals will work alongside other Habitat for Humanity Edmonton volunteers to assist with various tasks at the Anderson Gardens build site, which is Habitat for Humanity Edmonton’s largest project to date.

Volunteer shifts will commence Tuesdays to Saturdays from 8:30 pm – 4:30 pm, with the exception of May 19th, the long weekend Monday. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for as many or as few shifts as they prefer.

Congratulations to Habitat for Humanity Edmonton and the Capital Region Interfaith Initiative for spearheading such an important and exciting project.

For more information about the Edmonton Interfaith Build, contact Angela at angela@hfh.org or phone 780-451-3416 ext 223.

From Homeless to Business Tycoon

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the Homeless Commission present:

From Homeless to Business Tycoon, Frank O’Dea, founder of Second Cup

Over the last three years, more than 1,600 people have been housed under Edmonton’s Plan to End Homelessness.  Internationally renowned entrepreneur Frank O’Dea, who founded Second Cup, the largest chain of gourmet coffees and teas in the country, fully understands the struggle of beginning a new life off the streets. In his early teens, Frank’s life went off the rails into a downward spiral. Now, a successful businessman, Frank has always believed in the importance of giving back to the community.  Join fellow business people at this unique opportunity to hear Frank speak, and have a chance to personally make an impact in the goal to end homelessness in Edmonton.

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Crowne Plaza, Chateau Lacombe
10111 Bellamy Hill
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: $49.95 Members (+GST)
$69.95 Non-Members (+GST)
Tables of 8 Available

Registration Forms available at: http://www.edmontonchamber.com/

Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Build

One of the strategies in the “Congregational Housing Action Guide” is for local faith congregations to partner with Habitat for Humanity in the construction of affordable housing units. In May, members of Edmonton faith communities are invited to move from words to action to provide affordable housing for local families. Habitat for Humanity is hosting Edmonton’s first ever Interfaith Build. This initiative will occur at the Anderson Gardens build site in NE Edmonton. The Interfaith Build will begin May 2nd and conclude on May 31st. Five volunteers per day will be recruited from the various faith communities to help us with various tasks. The recruitment will occur through the faith communities themselves. The Interfaith Build volunteers will be working alongside other volunteers as this project accommodates a large number of people daily. Shifts are Tuesdays to Saturdays from 8:30 – 4 pm, except for May 19th, as it is the long weekend. Volunteers are welcome to sign up for as many or few shifts as they like. More information is included on the attachments.
Contact Angela for more information: angela@hfh.org or 780-451-3416 ext 223.

Congregational Workshop on Homelessness and Affordable Housing

We will be presenting an introductory workshop on homelessness and affordable housing for members of local congregations. The workshop is designed to help congregations discern social justice commitments appropriate for their community, addressing homelessness being one possible response. It will be an opportunity to learn about the different strategies suggested in the Congregational Action Guide. It will also be an opportunity to learn more about how members of your congregation can volunteer with the newly launched Welcome Home program. This workshop will be available for use with members of local faith congregations in the Edmonton region. Anyone interested is invited to participate in one of the following sessions:

Tuesday, April 24 from 10 am to 12 noon at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, 8421-101 Avenue
Wednesday, April 25 from 7-9 pm at the Unitarian Church of Edmonton, 10804-119 Street

For more information, contact:Brian Kiely, brikie@aol.com or Bob McKeon, sjustice@caedm.ca or (780) 469-1010

Ending Homelessness – Changing Lives

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Crowne Plaza, Chateau Lacombe
10111 Bellamy Hill
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: $49.95 Members (+GST)    $69.95 Non-Members (+GST)
Tables of 8 Available

Ending Homelessness – Changing Lives
Presented by The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the Homeless Commission.

Over the last three years, more than 1,600 people have been housed under Edmonton’s Plan to End Homelessness.  Internationally renowned entrepreneur Frank O’Dea, who founded Second Cup, the largest chain of gourmet coffees and teas in the country, fully understands the struggle of beginning a new life off the streets. In his early teens, Frank’s life went off the rails into a downward spiral. Now, a successful businessman, Frank has always believed in the importance of  giving back to the community.

Join fellow business people at this unique opportunity to hear Frank speak, and have a chance to personally make an impact in the goal to end homelessness

To register, please contact the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce:
700, 9990 Jasper Avenue, World Trade Centre Edmonton
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1P7 Tel: (780) 426-4620

Housing & Homelessness Educational Resources

Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative

Educational Resources

February 15, 2012

1)      February 2012 fACT Sheet  “Alberta Budget Analysis”

Edmonton Social Planning Council

http://www.edmontonsocialplanning.ca/images/stories/pdf/FactSheet/fact%20sheet_ab%20budget_2012.pdf

2)       “Edmonton Area Community Plan on Housing and Supports: 2011-2015”

Homeward Trust

http://www.homewardtrust.ca/images/files/2012-01-25-11-02Edmonton%20Area%20Community%20Plan%202011-2015.pdf

3)      “Poverty Costs: An Economic Case for a Preventative Poverty Reduction Strategy in Alberta”

Report, Executive Summary and short online video

Calgary Vibrant Communities Calgary

www.actiontoendpovertyinalberta.ca

4)      “Welcome Home” Program Manual

Program Manual

Training Manual

www.myunitedway.ca/welcome-home

5)      Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative Online

Facebook at  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Inter-Faith-Housing-Initiative/118601978241577

Blog at https://interfaithhousinginitiative.wordpress.com

Includes Interfaith Leaders Statement and the Congregational Housing Action Guide