Food Market – Rather than the traditional food bank model that provides a box of predetermined food items, the Food Market at HOPE House allows clients the dignity of choosing what they receive through an innovative points system. Much like going to the grocery store with a budget, clients walk through the aisles selecting the food – including fresh produce and meat – which appeals to the individual or family’s needs, while also learning how to budget and prioritize food needs through mentorship. HOPE House allocates separate points for infant care and hygiene products so there is no trade-off between food and other provisions.
HOPE Stylin’ – Encompassing both a free clothing bureau and bare-minimum cost hair salon ($2 for adults and free for children – fee is not imposed if not available) operated entirely by volunteer salon professionals, HOPE House is able to offer our clients a pride in their appearance that may have previously been unavailable to them. Knowing the confidence people feel when they look good, this program allows our clients to empower themselves, feel great about how they look and helps prepare them to write new future stories for themselves.
Edu-Kitchen – Cooking alongside HOPE House volunteers, Edu-Kitchen is currently a monthly program providing our adult clients with both the practical and physical tools needed to make nutritious meals for their family. We use experiential learning to teach cooking skills while also providing clients with the knowledge of a new recipe every month. This approach allows our clients to eat more healthily, take greater control over their personal diet and circumstances, and creates a community environment.
Daily Cafe – Our cafe provides a warm, safe environment for people in the community to enjoy delicious snacks, fresh coffee, tea and water. People are encouraged to sit together and share their lives with one another. Our cafe also serves community breakfast every Wednesday morning. This buffet-style breakfast is executed entirely by volunteers and is a great opportunity to serve our clients, offer people dignity, provide nutrition and enhance community.
Circles – Circles is designed to help families living in poverty set goals and move towards independence. Through intentional, reciprocal relationships formed between low-income and middle-income families, we create a “circle” of support so that families looking to lead themselves out of poverty have the social and educational resources available to them to make this a reality.
Back-to-School Backpack Project – Each year HOPE House offers back-to-school backpacks to children in need throughout the Guelph community. These brand new backpacks are filled with the supplies needed for students to be confident and successful at school. When children are confident and prepared, they go to school with a greater ability to learn thus helping them break the cycle of poverty. Last year, HOPE House became the city-wide coordinator for the community program, partnering with the Salvation Army and local neighbourhood groups, providing over 1100 backpacks to children in need.
Harvest of Hope – In partnership with Bayer Crop, HOPE House plants and seeds more than 3 acres of land on a donated farm plot. This crop is used to supply the Food Market with fresh produce throughout the summer and fall months. We maintain the farm plot using a team of volunteers to weed and harvest the fresh produce. Each year, we harvest more than 50,000 lbs of fresh produce, and because we cannot use all of this produce without it going to waste, we share a large portion of it (more than 40%) with other community service providers, including the North End Market, Chalmers, Salvation Army and the Neighbourhood Groups. This ensure that people accessing different service points throughout the city can get good-quality, farm fresh produce.
Christmas Hampers – Each year during the holiday season, HOPE House provides Christmas hampers to our clients and to the greater Guelph community. Included in these hampers are the ingredients needed for a traditional holiday meal, presents for the families’ children, and Christmas cards from our volunteers and staff. In 2015, we provided 418 Christmas hampers to individuals and families.
HOPE in Motion – This program developed through our relationships with food distribution centres and other local agencies involved in food provision. By utilizing a large paneled van, HOPE in Motion allows us to exchange needed items between distribution centres as well as share HOPE House’s acquired resources with other community service providers in Guelph through the pick-up and re-distribution of needed items. This program also is necessary in order to execute our annual Community Food Drive.
HOPE Smiles – Currently in the development and renovation stage, this program seeks to provide preventative, restorative, and diagnostic dental care for those who are typically unable to access dental services on a regular basis due to socioeconomic barriers.