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Graduate success

Bring on the New Year

 

What a year it has been here at Milton Transitional Housing, and it is all thanks to you, our wonderful supporters and volunteers.

MTH has grown in so many ways over the past year – more events, new board members, and more graduates!!! Our little program has grown from three client families in three units when I started in 2014 to nine client families in nine units!! That’s three times the number of families we can help, thanks to you. And what a wide variety of clients we serve now – from single clients to families, single mothers with children to a newly married couple, from a senior citizen to a newcomer family – they’ve all become members of our client family, and I couldn’t be happier.

And did I mention the nine graduates as well? That’s nine client families who came to us homeless and in the past three years have gone on to the long-term stable, affordable housing of their own!

This Christmas season was particularly heartwarming. Thanks to the generosity of local churches such as Grace Anglican, Knox Presbyterian, Boston Presbyterian and First Community Church, as well Brookville Public School, Pack a Bag Foundation and Steve’s Christmas Acres Fundraiser, our clients had an amazing holiday. From the brightly wrapped presents to the books, socks, and pajamas, from the food hampers and gift cards – it was truly heartwarming to see our community come together to ensure everyone had a bright and Merry Christmas.

This was also the year we saw the most ever given in personal donations from so many people who believe in what MTH is doing and reached out to help. Our first ever events – The Comedy Roast of Mayor Gord Krantz and the Stay At Home Gala were both popular and fun for those involved. Thank you to everyone who supported these new events, as well as our other events Fashionista Flip and the popular, family-friendly event Coldest Night of the Year Walk! Fundraisers are so important to what we do, but it is seeing so many happy, smiling faces at events like the Coldest Night of the Year Walk that help keep us motivated and engaged year round. There truly aren’t enough words to thank you all for always being there for MTH and the people we serve.

We also saw our Board of Directors increase this year – welcoming new Board members Wendy Roberts, John Pollard, Ken Eady and Marshall Horner. I am already seeing the impact of new voices and new ideas in the agency and can’t wait to see what the next year holds for this dynamic bunch of volunteers.

We also mourned one of our own this year – the loss of our friend and volunteer extraordinaire Freda Flook was a blow we were slow to recover from. Freda’s impish grin and attention to detail enhanced everything she participated in, and she is sorely missed.

2017 also marked a time of new relationships for MTH – many thanks to the 100 Women Who Care, who made us a charity of choice at their October meeting as well as the Community Foundation of Halton North who honoured us with a grant this year. Many thanks as well to the Oakville Milton Real Estate Board and GEAR Foundation for their continued support. And I would be remiss if I didn’t take this moment to thank Halton Region as well – their support through the rent subsidy program and the community investment fund has made a world of difference to those we serve, and I am incredibly grateful.

What a year 2017 was for us – I can’t wait to see what 2018 will hold! Hopefully, I will have a chance to see and thank all of you at one of our upcoming events – The Coldest Night of the Year launch on January 20, the Coldest Night of the Year Walk on February 24 or the Fashionista Flip on April 13 and 14. There are lots of ideas for new events as well, and I always need help planning them – if you are interested in volunteering on one of our committees, please let me know. I’d love to work more closely with you.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to seeing everyone in 2018.

All the Best,

Donna

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Citizenship, community and renewal

The links between citizenship, community, and renewal are all on my mind lately.

Yesterday, I had the honour and privilege of attending a citizenship ceremony at which more than two dozen new Canadians pledged their allegiance to, and were welcomed to Canada.

These new Canadians ranged from a variety of homelands – Israel, Poland, Pakistan, Romania and the United States to name just a few.

In his words of greeting the justice of the peace made the comment,

“We may not share a history but now we will all share a common opportunity for the future.”

This time of year is traditionally seen as a time of opportunity – of renewal and hope as we see the first signs of spring. And I can’t help but think of the http://buyantibioticsonline.org range of diversity of the many clients now being served by MTH and their new opportunities and hopes.

We welcomed our first family of newcomers to Canada as clients late last year, and I am happy to report that they are doing exceptionally well. Having the one on one case management, as well as knowing that they will have a roof over their heads for the next two years and a stable school environment for their children, has allowed them to focus on learning English and begin setting up their own business.

The fresh food box we provide each month, as well as the groceries and turkeys donated by Grace Anglican Church at Christmas, has led to some interesting lessons on cooking foods they aren’t familiar with. I never realized that the foods we take in stride here would be seen as new and exotic to someone new to our country.

It is so much fun to see our community through their fresh eyes or to meet and talk with our other clients and learn about their experiences. Our range of clients also includes a senior citizen, single parent families, a newly married couple and more and I learn more and more from them every time we talk.

I am so proud that, since taking on our first client in 2012 and beginning with just that one housing unit, Milton Transitional Housing now has nine units and has now graduated its 9th client family from the program. That’s nine clients who came to use experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis who have now gone on to stable, long-term affordable housing of their own.

When I spoke at the citizenship ceremony yesterday, I spoke to the concept of community and thanked the new citizens for what they will be bringing from their communities to ours – they will enrich the country we now share with their experience, history, and actions. Yesterday, they joined our community – the one that I am so truly thankful to. The community which makes support for all of our clients possible. The community which, since 2012, has helped us to help others – to offer them that helping hand to be able to reach for a better future for themselves and their families.

Spring – it’s not just a time of hope and renewal for me – it’s also a time to reflect on the wondrous community we call home and to thank every one of you for being such an important part of our community.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and thank you again for all that you do to support all that we do. Donna

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7th successful client family

We have just graduated our 7th successful client family.

“GRADUATE FAMILY” #7 has moved on to independent housing with the help of Milton Transitional Housing. Family #7 has been with us for almost two years, and during that time Mom was able to finish her education and become qualified and employed with the supportive counselling offered by MTH’s professional Case Manager. We are so proud!
Milton Transitional Housing helps move people “… from HOPE to HOME!”

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