Finding safe, stable, and affordable housing is a major challenge for people experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty. That is why The Mustard Seed offers Housing Support Programs which allow us to immediately help people from all walks of life and connects those in need to housing and community supports.
One of the ways we do this is through Open Door Manor, which is a permanent, independent living building ran by The Mustard Seed. “Some of the tenants are transitioning from incarceration. Some are transitioning from homelessness. Some are long term residents. Generally, new tenants are referred by a housing team member, or another agency.” says Cameron, Residence Maintenance Worker at Open Door Manor.
Although Open Door Manor is an independent living building, The Mustard Seed still provides supports where needed. “Many of the tenants struggle with basic housing items – food, hygiene, and even maintaining a small room. Through routine visits and open communication and encouragement, we are able to gently coach the tenants to better success,” says Cameron.
Additionally, “if a tenant has extra needs, we can certainly refer them to an appropriate worker within The Mustard Seed. Occasionally, we are able to fill basic needs (household items or work clothes) through the donation center at the Mustard Seed’s Community Support Centre.”
“Open Door Manor is a building owned by The Mustard Seed, and so all operations are funded by The Mustard Seed and by prospective donors,” says Katie, Housing and Property Manager at The Mustard Seed. “Donations help us keep the rent at a reasonable rate while also ensuring the residence is well-maintained.”
Thanks to the generous support of donors, The Mustard Seed is also able to provide benevolent aid to residents in need. “…if a resident is in need of any item that we are not able to get from the Community Support Centre or other source we can, if appropriate and able, help to purchase those. That could include a mattress or bed, microwave, phone or any other items that would help facilitate resident’s success” says Katie.
For our residents, having stable housing gives them the “…chance to not just survive, but to thrive.”
“Helping people into housing, and helping them maintain housing is at the core of ‘Loving thy neighbour’… Providing them a chance to cook meals that they can share with friends, to have a bed and a good sleep before they go to a job, to have frames and walls to put pictures of loved ones. It’s a chance to have purpose, and to know they are deserving.”