In January 2021 Beyond Housing acquired at no cost a property in Kitchener from The Region of Waterloo. The house at 24 Mill St. had been vacant for ten years and required significant renovations before it could be once again suitable for a family to call their home. Beyond Housing entered into a unique partnership with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) to restore the home. We also took the opportunity to upgrade the house’s energy efficiency with improvements such as additional insulation and new windows. Thank you to Reep Green Solutions for your assistance with this.
This project would not have been possible without the dedicated volunteers from MDS who were able to balance working on the renovations with the challenges of COVID-19 worksite restrictions. Through a series of unexpected events, a connection was made with a family from Syria that had been privately sponsored three years ago. The family of five was living in a two-bedroom apartment and desperate for something more appropriate that was also affordable. MDS volunteers led all aspects of the renovation from demolition to cleanup, just in time for the family to move into their new home prior to the start of the school year.
Since the capital campaign for 544 Bridgeport was actively underway, Beyond Housing did not launch a public fundraising effort. By word-of-mouth, donations from people in the community familiar with the project, donations of materials and labour from the dedicated MDS volunteers, and a final gift of $20,000 from Trinity United Church covered all of the renovation expenses. Thank you!