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.

Permanent Supportive Housing is a Proven Solution

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is an evidenced-based and cost-effective solution for people who are chronically homeless and/or highly vulnerable because of long-term disabilities such as mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, substance use disorders, and chronic health conditions.

PSH can be further understood by considering each component:

Permanent – Leases are held by tenants without limits on length of stay (PSH is not intended to be transitional or temporary).

Supportive – PSH links rental financial assistance with access to individualized, flexible and voluntary supports to address needs and maintain housing stability. Supports are typically provided by on-site staff and can be accessed 24 hours / 7 days a week.

Housing – PSH usually includes independent units, so people have their own private space, with common spaces that are in one home or building, or in a scattered-site arrangement in which tenants who receive support services live through out the community in housing that can be agency-owned or privately owned.