Somewhere People Can Seek Shelter
Imagine having no place to sleep tonight; nowhere to call "home." That’s the reality for too many people in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County. A Place Called Home is a charitable, non-profit organization that has been providing shelter and 24/7 support services to the homeless—and those at risk of becoming homeless—since 1995. We operate a 19 bed shelter for youth, adults, couples and families who have found themselves with no safe place to go at the end of their day.
A Place With Community, Support and Encouragement...
Becoming homeless is a stressful experience. What if, at the end of your day, you had no home of your own to go to and no one among your family and friends who was able to help? A Place Called Home provides 24/7 emergency shelter and genuine compassion to every person that knocks at our door. The care, empathy and encouragement that our staff show is what sets us apart from other shelters.
Helping People Move Forward...
APCH is a place of encouragement. We help people who find themselves homeless get back on their feet so they are able to move forward and obtain a stable residence. Living in crisis is very stressful and once a resident has found a way through that, their mental and physical health can improve significantly. It is just one of the reasons we are here and it is very rewarding to help make a difference in the lives of people who are facing a serious crisis. We help those at risk of becoming homeless keep their homes. We continue to help previous guests through ongoing communication and providing support to prevent situations that could put them at risk of becoming homeless again. Our staff has extensive knowledge of all government and community based programs and services related to homelessness and the barriers that those facing homelessness encounter. Our many community partners play a large part in helping our clients through this process through our extensive referral network.
Reversing the Stigma Attached to Homelessness...
Stereotypes surrounding homelessness are everywhere. Many people think homelessness is that smelly, lazy, crazy, drunk man sitting at the corner near the park. They think people choose to be homeless; if they simply took a shower and applied for a job, they wouldn’t have to sleep on a park bench.
However, homelessness is not that simple. Even hardworking people can suddenly become homeless. When someone finds themselves in a circumstance beyond their control that leaves them without a home, or an extenuating circumstance removes them from their home and they have no one to turn to, they can find themselves homeless. There are so many reasons that an individual or family can become homeless, but the common factor is that ... before the layoff came, before the illness set in, before the situation became unmanageable ... there was no family or friends in a position to help. APCH becomes a surrogate family and is the safety net for people in the Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton Community who face homelessness. We feel it is crucial that we strive to reverse the negative stigma attached to homelessness. Homelessness is not something people choose for themselves; it is something that happens to them when they don’t have the support network so many of us take for granted.
Who You Don't Think of as "homeless"?
Support. Family. Friends. Money. These are all forms of support, and without them anyone could find themselves homeless.
The following are real stories from some of our guests:
"I was excited to change jobs since the new factory job paid more than my old one. The problem was, soon after I started my new job, there were company-wide lay-offs. I had some money put away but not enough to last more than a month or two. I looked into EI, but didn’t have enough hours to qualify. Before I knew it, my rent was overdue and I had to decide whether to keep my car or pay rent for my apartment. My family lives in another province and I was new to town so I didn’t have a couch to crash on anywhere. I decided to keep my car since it was paid for already and gave me a way to get around and look for work. I never thought I would find myself living out of my car. I had always had a place to live and didn’t know who to ask for help. That’s when I came across A Place Called Home. They listened to what happened, gave me a safe place to sleep, directed me to resources I didn’t even know existed—and I even had a place to shower before job interviews. I was only there for a few weeks before I found a new job and moved back to my apartment. I wasn’t there long, but I don’t know what I would have done without them."
- Anonymous male
"I was working at a minimum-wage job and my husband, who works seasonally, was in the off-season. Neither of us had benefits and one of our two kids got sick. The meds we had to buy put us behind on our utility bill. The next month we owed two payments and bills just piled up from there. We tried to catch-up but fell behind on our mortgage as well. The bank foreclosed on our property. We stayed at a friend’s place for a while, but being four people, we outstayed our welcome quickly. The same friend suggested we talk to A Place Called Home because they could help us with a long term plan. I was skeptical but took my family to talk to them. They made us feel hopeful and had us stay in a large private room so the kids didn’t feel uncomfortable. They helped us keep the kids in school, which was important after being uprooted. We stayed until my husband’s work picked up again and we were able to move out. Even after that, APCH helped us come up with a plan to help us avoid finding ourselves in the same situation down the road."
- Anonymous wife and mother of two
- Karen Round - President / Chair
- John Atkins - Vice President / Vice Chair
- Paul Reed - Secretary
- John McLeod - Treasurer
- Roberta Allen
- April Eickmeier
- Andrew Hodson
- John Hassan
- Lisa Loader
- Glenda Morris
- Norman Price