Store fundraiser contributes $60,000 to Home for Good Campaign to solve homelessness

City’s pledge to match donations doubles impact of funds raised by Bookshelf and customers

The Bookshelf owners and their customers celebrate their donation to the Home for Good with members of the campaign team, Mayor Cam Guthrie and Counsellor Erin Caton at the construction site of the Kindle Communities supportive housing project on Shelldale Crescent in Guelph.

For immediate release – March 1, 2023 – A holiday season fundraiser continues to collect donations to help fund permanent supportive housing in Guelph and Wellington County. The Bookshelf announced it has raised $30,000 to date, combining donations from the store, its owners, and dozens of its customers.

To celebrate 50 years in business, in December the beloved local bookstore quietly announced a $20,000 gift on its social media channels and encouraged customers to also support the Home for Good project, a $5 million capital campaign to help build three Permanent Supportive Housing projects in Guelph that will reduce homelessness by about half when completed.

“We’ve been fortunate through the pandemic thanks to our loyal and generous customers. We know this isn’t the case for everyone. In our downtown location we also see first-hand the effects of poverty and homelessness. Housing is a basic right, and the Home for Good campaign is doing great work to solve homelessness in our community,” said Ben Minett, co-owner of The Bookshelf.

“To see our amazing customers come together around this issue and raise another $10,000 so far has been inspiring, and it speaks to the urgency of the issue. When it comes to providing mental health supports, housing, and poverty alleviation, we have never seen it as bad as it has been the past couple of years,” he continued.

Due to a commitment from the City of Guelph to match donations up to $500,000, the total raised by The Bookshelf and its community jumps to $60,000 and counting.

“This is an incredible example of the impact that individuals in our community can have. Small donations and large donations all matter. Before you know it, with the City’s pledge, a group can raise $60,000 towards this urgent issue,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie, who joined Bookshelf customers and campaign organizers to celebrate the donation.

“It’s worth noting that it’s a very cold day today. We’re standing outside for a few minutes for a photo shoot. There are people in our community who struggle to get out of this cold because they don’t have a permanent place to call home,” said Guthrie, adding: “This is a crisis.”

Chris Willard, executive director at The Guelph Community Foundation, which is co-leading the campaign with United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, says the example is encouraging for other community groups.

“I love that other groups in our community, whether they are a business and its customers or a group of co-workers, classmates, clubs, teams, or just a group of friends can see themselves in this great example of fundraising. With the City matching donations, it reminds us that when we come together, great things can happen!”

The Home for Good Campaign continues through 2023. For more information, visit

For more information please contact:

Glenna Banda, executive director, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin

c 519.546.4990 |

Learn more about the campaign and its collaborative efforts to solve homelessness in Guelph Wellington at