Spring 2022 Newsletter

May 17, 2022 | Media, Press Releases

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Dear Donors and Friends of St. Matthew’s House, 

Happy spring! In spite of continued pressures faced by many of us, seeing the first daffodils and tulips always brings a feeling of renewal. When I walk through downtown to get to work, I am seeing dandelions (my mother’s favourite)pushing up through the cracks in the sidewalk. That makes me think of resilience. When the sun starts to shine higher in the sky, it makes me think of hope. With your help, bringing renewal, resilience and hope is what we do here at St.Matthew’s House every single day. Whether it is for a senior, a parent, a toddler, a co-worker, volunteer, donor or friend, we think about the daffodils, dandelions and sunshine as markers for our inspiration to keep doing what we do best: be the place where hope lives. It has been another busy season at St. Matthew’s House – a merger with St.Peter’s Day Care, an announcement of Rapid Housing Initiative Funding for our affordable housing build and the launch of a $10/day childcare plan for Ontario just as a few! 

This spring, our newsletter is once again full of all the news we have about the impact of your donation has. We have been working quietly in the background to improve how we collect donations and disperse them. Now when you go to our website you will be able to make a choice and donate to the following areas: 

  • The Angela Dauda Fund for Children and Families provides supports, training, and program development for Black and Indigenous children and their caregivers.
  • Seniors Support Programs including emergency food deliveries, eviction prevention and crisis support for vulnerable seniors 55+ living in the lower city of Hamilton. 
  • The Adopt a Family/Seniors Holiday Program provides gifts and a special meal for seasonal holiday celebrations.
  • The 4Twelve Barton Capital Campaign to help build our deeply affordable housing project for Black and Indigenous seniors.
  • The General Fund to keep the doors open and lights on. 
  • A Monthly Donation Program to help with sustainability. 

Clearly, there is a lot of need in the community for the kind of services and supports we provide. Making it easier for you has been a goal that we have set our sights on this past year. When you go to the website to donate, we will also be asking you for your email and telephone numbers. We like to be able to reach back to you to send you your receipt, and to also to call and thank you for your donation! The calls that we have been making have shown us that you are supportive of our work and wish for us to be able to do the most with what we have. If you cannot access our website, you are free to give us a call to find out about making a donation. Madeleine Bond, our Communications andDevelopment Coordinator can be reached at 905-523-5546 ext. 252 to give you a hand. 

However you choose to donate, please think about making a contribution to one of the many funds that support our work. Every dollar makes an impact. Every dollar brings us hope. 

-Renée Wetselaar 

Executive Director 

Barton Street Festival is Saturday, June 11th, 2022

Come out, support local and say Hi!

Seniors Support Programs

Meet D*,

For the past decade, D has been living rough in the City of Hamilton – occasionally using shelters, but generally finding that he felt safest outside. In that time, D has connected with Outreach workers at the side of train tracks, secluded in the woods, and at one point up the escarpment off the Bruce Trail – about a 20-minute walk uphill, over rocks and roots and muddy slopes. 

Did we mention D has a prosthetic leg and recently turned 60? 

D spent this winter staying in a camp, surviving and navigating life alongside mental health and addiction. Always having to worry that if he left, all of his belongings would be thrown out or stolen. A lot of his belongings have been stolen in the past and while they may not have been much, they were still his. This has been an especially hard winter for D, with some health issues and problems with his good leg that affected his mobility. 

While working with the Outreach team, D was able to apply to and view one of City Housing Hamilton’s affordable seniors’ units. Over the course of a month, with Outreach’s support, D was able to complete his taxes, manage insurance, and connect with ODSP for rent payment all toward viewing and signing the lease on his new unit. May 14th will mark one month that D has been living inside his own apartment. 

D still has a long road ahead of him, working on his physical as well as mental health – but he is willing and eager to put in the work to move forward. Moving from the streets into an apartment is a sudden shock and a very difficult change, but with a little support from St. Matthew’s House Seniors Support Program, D is up to the challenge.

D is a survivor. Welcome home, D.

-Michelle S.

Street Outreach Worker

*Written with permission of D.

If you are interested in hosting a food drive in support of our Emergency Food Deliveries, please reach out to mbond@stmatthewshouse.ca for a food drive kit!

Children’s Centre

As the warm weather is upon us, we start a new chapter in the St. Matthew’s House world with the finalizing of the merger between St. Matthew’s House and St. Peter’s. It was a long, hard road, filled with many twists and turns and last-minute updates. We have worked hard to get here, and we can finally say, “We made it”. 

We still have some work ahead of us, but we are looking forward to all the positive changes that will be made and all of the growth we see upon the horizon. 

This merger has already created a sense of community among the staff and families, and they have already shared with me the positive light that has been cast since the merger. The dark gloomy days of “what ifs” are behind us. During this time, we expect to begin to see a lot of change and a lot of growth. We will be implementing new policies and procedures; we will be seeing changes to the building, both aesthetically and structurally; there will be more professional development among the team, Managers and Supervisorsincluded; and much more family and community engagement. We will use this time to also bring our two teams together to create a new strength and development among the Early Childhood Education field and set the standard for quality within our city for child care. 

I have been getting a lot of praise and applause for the work I have done in this merger and everything I have put together and worked towards, but the applause really goes to our Executive Director, Renée Wetselaar, for having this vision, and the board of directors for supporting and allowing this vision to become a reality. I came into this in the middle and shared some knowledge and helped out along the way but I could have never made it this far and completed this without the support of the people around me and around the center. From the Educators in the classrooms working to keep the families and children supported and cared for on a daily basis; to the outside support like the City of Hamilton and Ministry of Education coming in and helping every step of the way; to every inspector that put up with the constant calls and emails; and the families being patient, even now, while we work out every little kink that may come along the way. 

Needless to say, it has been a journey, but one that has been more than worth the outcome. It has been a journey with a long, bright and ever-growing future and we’re so excited for our families and our educators and our board members to be part of, and we’re ever more excited to see what next steps lay ahead

-Taniesha Gerrish 

Children’s Services Manager 

Green Cities Foundation Playground & Parking Lot Remediation

June is fast approaching and we are gearing up to finish the playground! Installation of a new stroller pavilion, bike track, shade sails and more are coming soon! September also looks bright for construction and installation of the seating area, and converting a section of the asphalt into a community green space for the neighbourhood to enjoy!

The Green Cities Foundation partnered with RBC Insurance and the Hamilton Community Foundation to complete Phase 2 work in the children’s playground at St. Matthew’s House this Fall. This phase of our project would not have been possible without the support of Three Seasons Landscapes, Arborwood Tree Service, Abingdon Heights, Scotts, Connon Nurseries, Miller Compost, Budget Bin, Dutra Landscape, Rock Crest Landscape By Design, Ontario Stone Supply & Garden Centre, Martek Supply, NVK Nurseries, Oriole Landscaping Ltd., Turf Systems Inc., Plant Products, Al’s Lawnmower, Wentworth Landscapes, Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association – Golden Horseshoe Chapter, and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.

Message From Chair Of Our Board

This message to you is bittersweet for me. It is my last as Chair of the Board, as my term ends at the SMH AnnualGeneral Meeting in June. I have loved every moment I have spent with St. Matthew’s House…it is in my blood and I will continue participating in many ways. The idea of ‘bittersweet’ comes through in many areas where we at SMHhave focus. The bitter is the challenges we see, the “lack of” we sense, the ignorance we witness. The community we are honoured to serve has many bitter moments along the journey, struggles and challenges that the programs at St. Matthew’s House address and ease. Our role at SMH is to demonstrate resilience in responding and supporting our community to be its best. That is our commitment. 

There is much more ‘sweet’ in our work these days. The insightful, compassionate and committed people at SMH work each day on behalf of clients and neighbours. 

We are really excited by our total commitment to child care – and now have an additional program location. The St. Peter’s Day Care Centre at 705 Main Street East and the Before and After Care Program at Adelaide Hoodless Elementary School have now joined St. Matthew’s House. This merger was an interesting process, and we are thrilled to have persevered in ensuring even more not-for-profit child care spaces in our community. 

Another sweet thing in our organization is the development of 412 Barton Street, next door to the St. Matthew’sHouse main location, into deeply affordable rental units for Black and Indigenous seniors. The building that once was an eyesore will now be safe and beautiful housing for our neighbours. We are calling this the 4Twelve BartonProject. 

We want the 4Twelve Barton Project to be a gateway for St. Matthew’s House and other organizations to model this concept of supportive, wrap-around housing. With our partners’ support, we are realizing one of our greatest dreams with 4Twelve Barton. Working with many supporters to bring this project to fruition has been very sweet indeed. 

The final thing I want to highlight is our overall vision for SMH. Did you know that where St. Matthew’s House sits at414 Barton Street, there once was a gas station? In providing services for children and seniors, we want to create an oasis where that gas station once stood. We are here to improve our world, and create a place of beauty, gathering and respite. We will do this by developing great programs, teaming up with visionary partners and attracting the best employees through valuing our diverse employees who are reflective of our neighbourhoods. 

We want to ensure we are doing all we can for our community. Loving our neighbours and helping whenever we can is all sweet, no bitter. And in return, how sweet it is to be loved by you. 

Thank you. 

-David Savage 

Chair of the Board 

Call for Nominations: Board of Directors & Committee Members

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St. Matthew’s House is a unique community support agency that provides childcare services and older adults/seniors support services. Many of the people and families that we serve face barriers that we help them overcome through our programs and services. This is an opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with a highly engaged board of directors. 

We are seeking individuals who share our vision that seniors and older adults in our community who face food, housing and income insecurity deserve better and families need access to affordable, accessible child care to be successful overall. We are looking for committed community members for board and committee positions to help be a place #wherehopelives. 

To apply, please download and fill out the fillable application and send it to apayne@stmatthewshouse.ca.

Applications are due May 20, 2022!

Three Ways to Donate

Your donations help us to maintain these programs and services through direct support to clients.
All contributions are issued a tax receipt.

In-PersonOnlineBy Phone
Drop off or mail a donation to:
414 Barton St. E.
Hamilton, ON L8L 2Y3
Make an online donation:
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Call us: (905) 523-5546
x. 230

Contact Info

414 Barton St. E
Hamilton, ON
L8L 2Y3

Working Hours

Monday – Friday
8:30am – 4:30pm

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Twitter: SMH_Hamilton

Many thanks to our funders:

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