St. Matthew’s House and its Seniors Support Services has received funding through the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility that will support St. Matthews food support program for seniors
“We are so grateful that we can continue to provide supports and services to seniors in our community who are so vulnerable – and now with COVID-19, are even more so,” said Executive Director Renée Wetselaar. “Staying engaged and offering support, as well as providing food, helps provide much needed assistance to many who are isolated at this time.”
Funding in the amount of $31,314, will be directed specifically towards ongoing programs, specifically food deliveries. “Working with older adults we face a multitude of barriers and now the added ones of masks and social distancing,” said Colleen Jones, Manager, Seniors Support Services. “The funds we are receiving are making huge impacts on vulnerable individuals inside an otherwise dire situation.”
Responses from clients help tell the story of just how huge those impacts are. One senior said in an email, “I want to thank you very much. I just was delivered this [food] box, it comes from heaven, from God. I want to thank you very, very much.” Another sent in this message: “The food delivery driver that comes to my door brings out happiness in myself and also my dog. I sense the happiness and compassion from him. The gratitude is so strong, I can’t find a word strong enough.” One senior said simply, “You are like my guardian angel.”
St. Matthew’s House
St. Matthew’s House (SMH) is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1967 by the local Anglican churches in inner-city Hamilton with a focus on caring for vulnerable populations in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Its goal with its Housing Outreach Preventing Evictions for Seniors (HOPES) service is to see vulnerable older adults 55+ and seniors secure and maintain housing in safe and stable environments.
Mental Health Street Outreach Program
In partnership with the City of Hamilton Public Health Unit, St. Matthew’s supports two street outreach workers who specifically work with those experiencing chronic or episodic homelessness. Workers connect clients to immediate supports including shelter, food and income supports and engage with those experiencing longer term homelessness assistance to rapid re-housing and housing first supports.
Seniors First Response Team
The Seniors First Response Team offers immediate support to seniors 55-plus needing a rapid crisis response due to mental health, poverty, addictions, disabilities, and other vulnerabilities. The team includes emergency food delivery and follow up supports to alleviate a future crisis.
More information can be found here.