Summer 2022 Newsletter

Jul 28, 2022 | Media, Press Releases

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Greetings everyone and happy summer! There is so much to tell you about what we’ve been up to at St. Matthew’s House, it is hard to know where to start. We are proud of what we’ve achieved recently. And you should be proud too, because in no small way our accomplishments are your accomplishments, due to your ongoing and generous support.

You’re probably aware of our 412 Barton project – a huge endeavour we are undertaking to create 15 deeply affordable rental units for Black and Indigenous seniors. But that’s not what I want to talk about today, except to say we hope to be in demolition mode later this year. Instead, I want to tell you about all the improvements we’ve made and the strides we’ve taken regarding the essential day to day services that we provide. I’m delighted to tell you that the acquisition of St. Peter’s Daycare Centre was completed on March 31st. We continue to work hard to bring it up to the same high standards set at our childcare centre at 414 Barton Street. We’re making classroom improvements, ensuring staff are well supported and enhancing programming. Our enrolment is full at both locations, serving more than 100 children and their families!

I’m also happy to report that on June 23rd the Green Cities Foundation hosted a Community Planting Day that increased the green footprint of our playground. Many thanks go out to RBC Insurance, Landscape Ontario and many others for supporting this project. Also if you recall, we learned just how important good ventilation is in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious deceases. So we are about to install new windows on the main floor of the Barton Street children’s centre, which will greatly improve airflow in the classrooms. On another topic, 40 people attended our virtual AGM on June 29th. What an amazing turnout! Among other things, we welcomed a new board member, Tinamarie Jones; introduced our new chair, Mary Burnett; and new vice chair Val Kerr. We were also happy to announce that Kudzie Chasosa will be our new treasurer.

A main focus of St. Matthew’s House is assisting extremely vulnerable and non-housed people, which continues to be a serious issue. Therefore, I am delighted to announce the addition of four new members to our Street Outreach team, bringing us to seven staff. Helping seniors to age at home means addressing housing, food security, income supports, and wellness including mental health and addictions. In the coming year, we plan to create a cleaning and hoarding support service for seniors. Hoarding is a crippling condition. When combined with pest issues, people are forced to leave their homes with no support to help them remain housed. With early intervention and ongoing support, we can shed a light on this situation and take it from the shadows of shaming. Currently, our outreach team is working with six seniors who are being evicted as a result of hoarding. We hope to drive this issue with our partners and hope to engage volunteers to help with some heavy lifting. As they say, ‘we all rise by lifting others’. We have accomplished so much and continue to grow by leaps and bounds. But we have to be honest with you. We’ve been spending a lot of money to achieve our goals. And there is still so much to do. We need your ongoing support to keep the momentum going. So please visit our website, give to an area that is close to your heart, whether it be children and their families, seniors, Adopt a Family/Senior Holiday Program or our general fund. We deeply appreciate whatever you can give.

Renée Wetselaar
Executive Director 

#wherehopelives


Children’s Centres

It has been an exciting time here at St. Matthew’s Children’s Centre and St. Matthew’s Children’s Centre @ St. Peter’s with the addition of so many beautiful plants from Green Cities Foundation and see all of the people come out and support our program by volunteering to help to the amazing Graduation Ceremony which brought families from both centres together.

We have been working very hard to create a community and family and it is showing in all the amazing work done by staff, admin, board members and children and families. It is an honour to be a part of all the great work we are doing and everything to come in the future. I would especially like to thank Madeleine Bond for all her hard work organizing most everything we do and the support she gives the team when preparing for an event, getting everything ready so they can focus on the children. We would be lost without all that she does.

As always, we look to the future for all that is to come and all the opportunities to bring everyone together again.

Taniesha Gerrish

Manager, Children’s Centres

We have openings in our programs at St. Matthew’s House CHildren’s Centre and in partnership with St. Peter’s Daycare:
Toddler Program – 18 months to 2.5 years
Preschool Program – 2.5 years to school entry


Message from Chair of Our Board

I am very excited and honored to be stepping into the role of Board Chair for St. Matthew’s House. I wish to begin by recognizing the many wonderful contributions of my predecessor, David Savage. His positive approach and commitment to the work of St. Matthew’s House will be a tough act to follow!

Being a volunteer for St. Matthew’s House enables me to pursue two of my life-long passions – promoting enhanced early childhood and seniors care. Once upon a time (a long time ago ?), I used to license child care centres. I was very fortunate to work with Angela Dauda on the proposal for funding to renovate our current child care space at 414 Barton Street and to be part of the board committee that resulted in St. Peter’s Day Care joining the SMH family. I am also very committed to improving the life of older persons. For the past 15 years, I have worked with persons affected by dementia as CEO of the Alzheimer Society and know firsthand how much work needs to be done to help older adults age well in their own homes. The work of our Seniors Team is making a huge difference in the lives of many vulnerable older adults in Hamilton.

Finally, I am thrilled to see the development of 412 Barton into an affordable home for seniors facing homelessness, with a special focus on Indigenous and Black older adults.

These are indeed exciting times for St. Matthew’s House!

Mary Burnett

Board Chair

Community Planting Day With Green Cities Foundation

Community Planting Day was held on June 25th. We had so many people come out to help green our community. From digging holes for trees and new plants in our playground, beautifying Woodlands and Birge Parks, stickering and delivering new plants for over 250 homes in our area, we had a blast! The children have been enjoying the new plants, especially the watering part! Special thank you to RBC Insurance staff, Unique Landscaping, Oriole Landscaping, Turf Systems, Aldershot Landscape Maintenance, Connon Nurseries, Beautiful Alleys and everyone who came out to help for all the hard work and dedication to making our community greener.


Senior Support Programs

A Day in the Life

A typical day for the Seniors First Response Team begins at 8:30 a.m. with the building of food boxes to be delivered to clients throughout the day. Each box is carefully curated by our team members to suit the dietary needs and preferences of every individual to the best of our ability, with a range of items from fresh produce and dairy to canned soups and pasta. Thanks to our generous donors we are able to give our clients the best possible experience in a situation that can often feel overwhelming or embarrassing.

Once the boxes have been prepared, Jithu, our Seniors First Response Team Driver, leaves to do deliveries, notifying each client prior to his arrival at their residence. Our clients adore Jithu and always look forward to seeing him on delivery days. If he encounters any issues, such as clients being unavailable, he will notify the staff in the office so the missed deliveries can be quickly rescheduled. In addition to doing deliveries, Jithu also picks up supplies and donations, and assists in the warehouse to ensure operations are able to run as smoothly as possible. While Jithu is completing his daily workload, Spencer, our Seniors First Response Team Support, is in the office scheduling deliveries and taking calls from clients, referring them to our other teams if necessary. If their needs are beyond the scope of our programs, she will refer the individuals to agencies that would be better suited to provide aid in their specific circumstances. As well as scheduling deliveries and answering phone calls, Spencer is also responsible for the general upkeep of the warehouse, including taking inventory, cleaning and organizing, and ensuring donations are recorded and put away correctly.

Once Jithu returns to the warehouse, he and Spencer discuss any issues that came up throughout the day and prepare for the following day’s deliveries. If all goes well, they leave the warehouse at 4:00 with the following day’s deliveries ready to go (excluding perishables, of course), and the satisfaction of knowing they have made the day brighter for some seniors.

Spencer Nosella & Jithu Tomy

Seniors First Response Team

Food Donations can be dropped off at 705 Main Street East – ramp door off of St. Claire Ave Monday to Friday 9am – 3pm


Food Drive Kits

If you are interested in hosting a food drive in support of our Senior Emergency Food Deliveries, please reach out to mbond@stmatthewshouse.ca for more information or go to https://stmatthewshouse.ca/helpus/organize-a-food-drive/ to download a food drive kit. It has everything you would need to host a fun and successful FOOD DRIVE!

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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.

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Drop off or mail a donation to:
414 Barton St. E.
Hamilton, ON L8L 2Y3
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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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Many thanks to our funders:

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