MennoHomes is building A Place to Call Home

February 10, 2020

KITCHENER, ONT.—Being on a waitlist for affordable housing is like hanging on to a log out on the ocean when you can’t see the land, according to a woman named Rebecca. Dan Driedger, executive director of MennoHomes, a non-profit, affordable housing provider in Waterloo Region, is using this metaphor to motivate the organization’s development of a $12.7 million affordable housing project, A Place to Call Home, in northeast Kitchener. To tackle urgent housing needs, MennoHomes finds partners to share work and costs, and foster creative problem solving. In this latest project, announced at its annual general meeting on Jan. 30, MennoHomes is working with Parents for Community Living (PCL), which creates supportive housing for developmentally challenged adults, and St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church to redevelop the church property into a barrier free “community hub” with 48 affordable rental units. The plans for Phase 1 include a worship space for the church, a community room and kitchen for PCL, some units available to the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support, and shared spaces for community groups. Carl Zehr, former mayor of Kitchener, and the capital campaign chair, says the “beauty of the project is the collaboration of partners,” which “maximizes the impact” and creates “so much payback for the community.”

—By Janet Bauman


An artist’s rendering shows the barrier-free, 48-unit ‘community hub’ MennoHomes will build in partnership with Parents for Community Living and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kitchener, Ont. Construction will start this spring and is to be completed by summer 2021. (Image courtesy of MennoHomes)

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