Willow Creek House gets grant for desperately needed renovations
Published Friday, February 1, 2019 5:01PM EST
In desperate need of renovations, Willow Creek House - a group home for adults living with mental illness - got the miracle it needed.
Donald Stephen Stewart knows the challenges of living on the streets.
“I was in the Men’s Mission for the homeless and then I was in the Salvation Army.”
Stewart, who suffers from schizophrenia, says he hasn’t had a place to call home until he moved into Willow Creek House.
“I’ve been here for approximately a year and it’s been good here, if it hadn’t been for Can-Voice I don’t think I would’ve had a home, I have my own things and my own little room.”
Can-Voice, a mental health peer support organization, opened up Willow Creek House nine years ago and and houses seven people.
Residents of the home have access to staff support and meals, and can attend activity and group sessions at the Can-Voice main office next door
“What they have mostly is their independence and to be able do things on their own and basically run their lives on their own with peer support help,” says Betty Edwards, Can-Voice executive director.
However the home itself needed some help, for one thing, a new roof.
“We were starting to see some water damage coming from the roof and the floors were down to basically nothing,” Edwards says.
A recent grant of more than $50,000 from the London Community Foundation has helped fix the roof, install all new floors in the home and some new windows.
As well, they've been able as build a basement apartment, which Edwards says will be rented out.
“We can provide that as an option for a couple in the city who have mental health challenges.”
Edwards says the next goal is to raise enough money to build a second residential home on the property behind the facility to provide more housing for those who need it.
People like Stewart, who just want a place to call their own.
“This is like home to me.”