A New Model of Compassion & Creativity
It is the mission of Seeds of Hope to build self-sustaining communities that create the conditions to enable individuals at a crossroads in their lives develop their livelihood, learning and creative potential through engagement with each other in experiencing social enterprise and community endeavors.
Seeds of Hope Foundation has a 16-year history of operating two resource centres and five housing projects that work to stop this ‘Revolving Door’ of individuals moving from the street to police arrest to hospitalization and back to the street. Our main focus has been to create ‘centres of friendship’ that are safe places, and to encourage individuals who are at a crossroads in their lives to support one another. People can be at a crossroads in their lives for many reasons, including recovery from addiction or mental health challenges, unemployment or just bad luck. They also bring many skills that allow us to operate with minimal overhead.
Our resource centres operate as ‘open space learning centres’ where meals & learning centre programs are offered at no charge.
The Power of Caring
The power of a welcoming and caring community in action brings transformation to the lives of the people it serves. The spirit of Seeds of Hope initiatives has helped many to overcome homelessness and livelihood challenges to experience joy, peace and beauty. These stunning portraits of our members by Edward Gajdel truly honour this transformation.
Seeds of Hope is A Practical and Creative Approach to Engaging Citizens in More Compassionate Responses to the Challenges of Livelihood and Homelessness.
Dignity & Belonging: 6 St. Joseph House
6 St. Joseph House operates the ‘Yellow Door Learning Centre’. Many of our facilitators are volunteers who themselves have struggled with addiction and/or mental illness. These individuals provide over 40 art & wellness courses at our learning centre at 6 St Joseph House. One participant at the ‘Gratitude workshop’ says, “I thank the Creator every day.” Another at the table, a man with a humble demeanour and slight build, quickly adds: “If we receive gratitude the right way, we can receive even more”.
At 6 St. Joseph House, individuals are invited into a place of hospitality built on a model of shared learning, where each person’s talents are empowered and celebrated. And ultimately, these individuals will give to others what they experience themselves: the dignity of accomplishment, the pride of contributing, and the comfort of friends.
This model of taking positive steps towards rebuilding the lives of individuals taps the “genius of local communities”, and builds on the contributions of the people who volunteer at 6 St Joseph House. We have seen that ‘to belong,’ people must experience unforced, unpaid support and acceptance, and be encouraged, in a safe emotional environment, to come to acknowledge and share with others their own gifts.
Seeds of Hope operates an effective peer-based model that is relatively low cost and can transition individuals who have become homeless due to mental health and/or addiction challenges. This model has enabled Seeds of Hope to be responsive to community needs and to operate without government funding. The results are transformative in helping individuals, who may have previously felt socially exiled. We see many examples where individuals are able to re-build their lives and re-enter community with a sense of purpose and self-worth.
Healing & Recovery: Carrot Green Roof Healing Garden
The Carrot Green Roof evolved from a diverse collective of humanitarians coming together to engage with nature, each other, and our community. The garden was built largely by people in second stage recovery who resided in our Broadview Homes, and is planted and harvested by a vast array of community groups and individuals including our women’s shelter ‘Lazarus House’ and those from 6 St. Joseph House, who are seeking community and healing from isolation, mental illness, addiction, and poverty.
We grow food and medicinal teas and herbs that are used to improve the health and vitality of people in our community.
Shelter: Lazarus House
Lazarus House provides transitional housing, up to 6 months, for women living with mental illness who are experiencing homelessness. The goal of the program is to assist these individuals in addressing their immediate physical and mental health needs and to secure long-term housing. Lazarus House works in partnership with Streets to Homes and partnering agencies.
Who are Lazarus House – Transitional Housing Services for?
- Homeless women, 18 years of age and older, who are living with mental illness and can be safely supported in the community
Addiction Recovery: Broadview Houses
This housing initiative at 682, 686 & 688 Broadview Ave. is an abstinence-based supportive housing model for individuals in the early stages of recovery from addiction.
We provide our residents the opportunity to live in a structured, supportive and compassionate environment for a period of up to 11 months. Rent is geared to income.
We provide ongoing counselling and guidance to assist with the transition from active addiction to the creation of a life in recovery.