St. Andrew’s Guelph Growing Its Legacy of Community Support

A $600,000 cash donation starts a major gift push for The Home for Good Campaign

Glenna Banda, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin and Chris Willard, The Guelph Community Foundation, receive a cheque for $600,000 from Mary Visser Kerr and Nicki Groenewegen of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Guelph ON – The congregation from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Guelph is showing their commitment to being in service to others by making a $600,000 leadership gift to the recently launched Home For Good Campaign.

“As individuals and as a congregation, St. Andrew’s has a mandate to support others in the community,” said Mary Visser Kerr, a member of the leadership team that helped guide the giving process. “This desire to help is a driving factor for all our activities. We are always challenging ourselves to find ways we can get involved and are so thrilled about the impact this money is going to have.”

“The St. Andrew’s gift is the largest cash contribution the campaign has received to date and has already been leveraged to encourage additional government grants,” says campaign co-lead Glenna Banda, executive director of United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin. The formal cheque presentation was made earlier this month at the church. The gift was received by Banda and campaign co-lead Chris Willard, executive director of the Guelph Community Foundation. 

“This gift is a great fit for our past and future,” commented Nicki Groenewegen, another gift organizer from the church. “These funds came from the proceeds of the sale of the Westminster-St Paul’s Presbyterian Church that closed in in October 2021.  For many years, St. Andrew’s has been looking at needs in our community, learning about the importance of affordable housing and the powerful role that permanent supportive housing plays in reducing homelessness. When we heard about The Home for Good Campaign it seemed like a perfect fit for our funds and energy. We hope that supporting the campaign with a large gift will draw attention in the community to this critical need.”

“We are so grateful to St Andrew’s for their leadership and commitment to this campaign,” reflected Willard. “We have been speaking with their staff and congregational teams for a while about this campaign and have seen their passion and interest in permanent supportive housing grow. To receive this gift so soon after our public launch is a sign that the community sees the benefits these housing solutions will provide Guelph and Wellington. “

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The Home for Good Campaign will raise $5 million to invest in permanent supportive housing projects to help people experiencing homelessness in Guelph and Wellington. This capital investment will help support the building of 72 supportive housing units in Guelph over the next year. To date, commitments from all levels of government and other community agencies have generated nearly 80% of the funds needed.

Read the Donor’s Story here.

Home for Good Campaign Working Toward Solving Homelessness

$5 Million Capital campaign for Permanent Supportive Housing projects has raised over 80% of $24.3M goal

May 12, 2022 | Guelph ON | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Guelph and Wellington County are recognized as national leaders for creating solutions around homelessness. A new capital campaign launching today – already 80 per cent funded — is the next major step to solving homelessness in the community.

“The Home for Good Campaign is a bold call to action to come together as a community to solve homelessness. This campaign is a natural next step with the great advocacy and research work that has been taking place here for over 10 years,” said Chris Willard, executive director of The Guelph Community Foundation, which is co-leading the campaign with United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin.

“We have solutions before us that will bring us even closer to solving homelessness, and now we are asking the community to open their hearts and wallets to help us get there,” he commented.

The immediate focus is capital investment to build 72 supportive housing units in Guelph to serve individuals who are experiencing chronic homelessness. Approximately 60 per cent of the funds raised will help Kindle Communities, Stepping Stone and Wyndham House complete three Permanent Supportive Housing projects.

Combined, these three projects will move the community toward a 50 per cent reduction in homelessness according to the By-Name-List (BNL). Managed by the County of Wellington as the lead on Guelph-Wellington’s plan to end homelessness, a BNL is a real-time list of all people experiencing homelessness in Guelph-Wellington. The BNL helps service providers prioritize need, track the status changes as individuals and families move in and out of homelessness and inform action as we move towards ending chronic homelessness in our community.  

The remaining funds will be used to support the ongoing capital maintenance of these new buildings, and to establish a fund to have capital resources available to kickstart similar projects in the future.

Most of the $24.3 million total investment for these projects has been pledged by various levels of government and other supporters, along with a land donation valued at $1.7 million from Skyline Group of Companies. A $5 million shortfall will be addressed through the success of The Home for Good Campaign.

“As we launch this public phase of the campaign, we are grateful to the government and corporate supporters who have already given or pledged over $21 million to Home for Good,” reflected Glenna Banda, executive director for United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin. “Through the generosity of individual donors, corporate supporters, and other partners we will raise $5 million from the community to build Homes for Good for those experiencing homelessness in Guelph and Wellington.”

The Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination has been among the organizations leading the charge to create a coordinated approach to addressing the needs of people who experience homelessness, as well as provide community education programs.

“We can all play a role in solving homelessness and supporting solutions,” noted Dominica McPherson, director of the Poverty Task Force. “Systems failures, poverty, and sudden life changes like an unexpected job loss are some of the reasons why people find themselves without a permanent home. When combined with other challenges like trauma, the stigma of asking for help, and health issues, finding a home can feel impossible. Permanent Supportive Housing is a cost-effective and proven way to help individuals with complex needs find an affordable and safe home with immediate access to the support services they need.”

This public phase of the campaign was launched today at a United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin event called United in Conversation: Understanding Homelessness. Guided by the data and passion of the Poverty Task Force, The Guelph Community Foundation and United Way will be meeting personally with key donors throughout the summer and the fall. The campaign will launch a community-wide appeal in early 2023 to encourage everyone to give.

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The Home for Good Campaign is a bold call to action to solve homelessness in our community. Through the generosity of individual donors, corporate supporters, and community organizations we will raise $5 million to build Homes for Good for people experiencing homelessness in Guelph and Wellington.


For more information please contact:

Glenna Banda, executive director, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin

c 519.546.4990 | glenna@unitedwayguelph.com

Chris Willard, executive director, The Guelph Community Foundation

c 519.239.8012 | cwillard@guelphcf.ca

Learn more about the campaign and the collaborative efforts to solve homelessness in Guelph Wellington at HomeForGoodGW.ca