a response to the need for affordable housing

Stirling Avenue - Kitchener (2005)

New Family Moves into Refugee Home -- October 2008

John Reimer

A family of six from Colombia moved into our Refugee House. They were displaced from their rural home due to threats from rebels. They are one of four related families who arrived late October 2008. One of each of the married couples heading each of the families is a brother or sister. The mother of the four siblings lives with one of the families. The family at Stirling consists of a mother and father, 18 year old, 15 year old, 13 year old and 1 year old children. They have consistently attended First Mennonite Church and enjoy the contacts with other Hispanics. Two of the youth are attending the weekly LOGOS meetings for youth. Overall they seem to be integrating well.

Creative Partnerships continue to emerge! First Mennonite Church in Kitchener has a long standing interest in refugee support and they wanted to sell a church-owned house. At the same time, the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support has been encouraging MennoHomes to create rental housing that is a good fit, both in size and cost, for significant needs of refugee families entering the K-W area. MennoHomes has finalized the purchase of the house from First Mennonite at $30,000 below market value. (Thank you First Mennonite for this generous contribution)!

Volunteer labour from First Mennonite Church has been used to renovate this property back into a four bedroom home.

There is an acute need for larger houses for our new neighbours. This cooperative venture between First Mennonite and MennoHomes Inc. is one other churches may want to explore!

Refugee Re-Settlement House

In partnership with First Mennonite Church of Kitchener MennoHomes is operating a Refugee Re-Settlement House on Stirling Avenue North. MennoHomes is the landlord while First Mennonite provides the program supports to facilitate the resettlement of the refugee family residing at the house.

On December 31, 2005 a family of seven from Somalia moved into the house. On January 9 all 6 children (ages 5 to 12) were enrolled at Shepherd Public School.