HAMILTON, ONTARIO, June 18, 2020 – People from across southern Ontario leaned in to give generously at Indwell’s first virtual gala last week, doubling the charity’s goal and reaching just over $100,000.
Replacing four annual signature events in Hamilton, Woodstock, Simcoe and London, the live online event engaged more than 1,300 participants by “travelling” to each of those four regions in which Indwell has established their supportive affordable housing programs. Using their phones to pre-record videos, local staff gave attendees a snapshot of their programs, including tenants’ stories and pictures.
In their ambitious quest to end homelessness and inadequate, substandard housing, Indwell continues to develop more homes. The virtual gala format allowed a glimpse into each of these projects as well, with three in Hamilton; and one in Simcoe, London, Port Credit (Mississauga), and Kitchener. Currently supporting 600 people, when these projects are completed, an additional 360 people will have homes. “While we have more projects in the pre-development phase, we also love working alongside—getting behind—other organizations with a similar vision,” explains Jeff Neven, Executive Director and live host of the gala.
The program included shout-outs from Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Simcoe Mayor Kristal Chopp, London Mayor Ed Holder, and Waterloo Region Chair Karen Redman—in addition to remarks from other politicians, local leaders, and celebrities.
Teresa Howe, Indwell’s Community Engagement Manager shares some of her favourite community responses from first-time attenders: “It was moving, sometimes funny, just the right amount of information, and it kept moving (never boring!).” “Saying thank you to the organizer of a fundraiser is a first for me!” “We were both teary-eyed by the end. And we had an appetite for good news. Very glad it was a virtual event.”
Over the next months, the charity will consider how to how to incorporate elements of the virtual event into future possible in-person events.
If you were unable to attend the gala you can view the event at indwell.ca/hope-at-home.
Indwell is a Christian charity that responds to the urgent need to address homelessness in Southern Ontario by providing high-quality, affordable supportive housing. Indwell supports more than 600 tenants in Hamilton, Woodstock, Norfolk County and London, and is expanding into Waterloo Region and Port Credit (Mississauga). Indwell empowers tenants to achieve health goals and active participation in the life of their communities. To learn more, visit indwell.ca.