Journey with individuals or families moving into a new home
Welcome Home is a volunteer-based befriending program that provides companionship to individuals and families who have been housed by contracted Housing First agencies, in response to Edmonton’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Volunteers engage in meaningful daily activities with program participants (e.g. going for coffee, attending a sporting event), providing companionship to reduce the loneliness and social isolation faced by many newly housed individuals.
Greg’s story illustrates how important relationships are for newly housed individuals. Greg, a formerly homeless man, moved to north Edmonton in September 2013. He quickly made friends with the elderly woman next door, Barb, and his neighbour down the hall, Daniel. Barb is on oxygen and has mobility issues. In the winter, Greg shovels her patio and clears a path to her car in the building’s parking lot out back. As a token of thanks, Barb gave Greg a card and gift certificate for Christmas. One day Greg saw Daniel outside looking at a table that someone had left beside the dumpster. Daniel mentioned how he could use a table like that, but it looked like it was in a bit too rough a shape. Greg is an experienced carpenter, so he took the table, sanded it down, refinished it, and presented the final product to Daniel. As a token of his thanks, Daniel is teaching Greg how to make his own bread.
Welcome Home provides the training, support and opportunity for anyone who is willing to enter into a circle of support and friendship for someone coming off the street and into a new community.
Volunteers engage in meaningful daily activities with program participants (e.g. going for coffee, attending a sporting event), providing companionship to reduce the loneliness and social isolation faced by many newly housed individuals. Through the development of stable, honest, and trusting relationships, participants will increase their community involvement, build self-confidence and positive life skills, and increase their success rate in retaining their housing.
For more information, to volunteer, to make a financial contribution, or to host a Welcome Home information session in your community, please call (780) 378-2544 or visit the following link: http://www.catholicsocialservices.ab.ca/CSSFindServicesbyLocation/default.aspx?id=20812
The Welcome Home program is an interfaith initiative offered by Catholic Social Services in partnership with Sign of Hope, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, and various faith communities of Edmonton.