Indwell's History

Locke street residence
The Homestead, Indwell's home on Locke Street, Hamilton, in the 1980's and 1990's.

By the early 1970’s, Siny Prinzen, and her late husband John, saw a real need in area churches for support for vulnerable adults dealing with mental health issues. With their home already a hub for young people, John wanted to see if one-on-one support would make a difference in the life of a struggling young woman. Siny, home with their two young children, was – as she says with a grin – “a part of the experiment.” That woman lived with them for a year before moving on and getting married.

By 1974, John had organized a group of professionals to devise solutions for families with adult children who had disabilities. That year, The Homestead, as it was affectionately known, was born in downtown Hamilton. House parents were hired and seven residents were accepted. After a couple of years, The Homestead moved from a rented location on Homewood Ave. and purchased a home on Locke Street. Through 2001 that home saw many, many people served, usually moving to independent living within a year or two. 

When Indwell’s first apartment building was purchased in 2000, John organized volunteers to complete maintenance and repairs, while Siny scrubbed and cleaned to get apartments ready for tenants.

“At times things were overwhelming,” Siny admits. “But the hard times are nothing. The Lord has blessed us in so many ways.”

01 tessier homestead 20110901

Other stories about Indwell's early days can be found HERE in our 40th Anniversary Booklet.

Since our founding, Indwell has expanded both the range and number of housing options. We now provide supportive housing to more than 400 households in southern Ontario through our programs in Hamilton, Woodstock and Simcoe. Our housing options range from residential care facilities with 24-hour on-site services, high support housing and independent apartments with supports. Go HERE to learn more about specific programs within Indwell.