We live in a prosperous community, yet many seniors struggle to find affordable housing. Rents have sky-rocketed. Appropriate and affordable housing for seniors is out of reach for many. The average waiting time for seniors on The Region of Waterloo’s community housing waiting list is over 5 years.
Laverne Brubacher, the longtime chair of the Sprucelawn Board of Directors, has been leading this redevelopment since it was originally envisioned in 2012.
“We need to ensure there are affordable places in our community for seniors, where they can also live with dignity.”
Capital Campaign Chair
In the early 1980’s the Lutheran, United, and Mennonite churches in St. Jacobs recognized the need for affordable housing in their community. By working together they were able to develop Sprucelawn Apartments for Seniors. The 30 units they created have been providing housing with rents less than 80% of the market rates ever since.
In 2012 the board of Sprucelawn undertook some strategic planning and began to consider a possible expansion. It was decided that an addition to the Mill Race side, tied into the existing building, would be best. An adjoining property was purchased to accommodate the proposed addition and parking. Plans were developed for 28 new units, consisting of 20 one-bedroom and 8 two-bedroom apartments.
MennoHomes has been involved in the provision of affordable housing in Waterloo Region since 2001. In 2021 Sprucelawn and MennoHomes submitted a joint proposal to The Region of Waterloo as secured funding support for the one-bedroom apartments. On February 1, 2022 Sprucelawn and MennoHomes amalgamated. The previous Sprucelawn board continues to be actively involved as committee members for MennoHomes.
Partnership is the way forward for not-for-profit organizations. In this instance, two strong partners have come together to accomplish something that could not have been done alone. Addressing the urgent need for affordable housing requires a collaborative approach to be successful. The need for affordable seniors housing in Woolwich Township has already been recognized by all levels of government and their financial support has been approved.
A key aspect of our approach to creating affordable housing is that projects must be developed to be financially sustainable. To make this vision a reality, the campaign will raise $2 million.
The MennoHomes business model is simple and highly effective. For each project, construction costs are covered by a combination of government grants, private donations, and a mortgage.
Your gift can be transformative. You will be helping seniors in our community to experience the dignity and stability that come from having an appropriate, accessible, and affordable home.
CRA Charity #86304 7015 RR0001
“Sprucelawn has been my home for 22 years. I’ve been a widow since 2003 and can’t imagine how much different things would have been if I hadn’t had something that I can afford. I am truly grateful to live here.”
-Lorna, Sprucelawn tenant
Pause for a moment and think about what your home means to you.
Family. Comfort. Community. Privacy. Peace. Warmth. Self-respect.
Now think about what it must be like to live in substandard housing. To wonder if you’ll be able to make rent and pay utilities. To run short of grocery money by the end of the month. To not be able to climb stairs any longer and live in fear of falling. To live alone, isolated without a sense of community. To teeter on the crisis of inadequate, unaffordable housing.Your gift can be transformative. It will make a real and measurable difference in people’s lives of seniors in our community. You will be helping them experience the dignity that comes from having a solid, safe and comfortable home.
You will be supporting their physical and mental health, helping them stay well, thrive and contribute. To remove the fear that accompanies lack of access to affordable and accessible housing may be the greatest gift we can give back to those who helped build our community.
You will be building a place to call home.