We’re thrilled to announce that at the end of June, Indwell advanced our vision of Hope and Homes for All into Waterloo Region with the purchase of Kitchener’s former St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. As with many cities in southern Ontario, homelessness and substandard, expensive housing highlight the need for more supportive affordable housing in the region.
When three Lutheran churches amalgamated at the end of 2018, the St Mark’s property needed a new use. Our shared values are reflected in the congregation’s legacy of ministry to the vulnerable. Even when no longer worshipping in the building, they continued opening their doors while they finalized the sale of the building to Indwell. Nightly, 45 people found refuge in the church hall as part of YW Kitchener – Waterloo’s winter overflow shelter, a space that will be transformed into permanent homes.
Embraced by Waterloo Region, we feel momentum growing. To launch this project and demonstrate their commitment to ending homelessness, the church offered Indwell the property at half its value, and the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation supplied a mortgage for the purchase. The Cowan Foundation provided a gift of $250,000 to launch the capital campaign for this project. Generous grants from the William Voortman Foundation and River Dali Foundation are supporting the first full-time staff member and office.
The repurposing of the former St. Mark’s will create 40 new homes. But we’re setting our sights much higher, committing to a minimum of 150 units of deeply affordable housing in Waterloo Region.