Dr. Dignity – HOPE House Advice
Dear Dr. Dignity,
I would like to access the emergency food resources at HOPE House, but I don’t even know where to start. Do I need to make an appointment? Do I need to bring any documents? I have a job, but it’s only part-time, do I still qualify? Help please!
Thanks for reaching out; I know how hard it can be to acknowledge that you could use some help and to ask for it. I commend your vulnerability and courage!
The only requirement to register with HOPE House is that you reside in Guelph. That’s it. No appointment necessary, just come on in (10 Cork St. E.), give us a call (519-265-4299) or fill out our super simple online form (FYI, the online form is our preferred option during the COVID-19 pandemic). You don’t need to justify that you’re in need or prove anything to us. We know that it’s hard to ask for help. In fact, only about 20% of Canadians who are food insecure use food banks and other emergency food services. So, if you reach out to us and ask for help, we believe that you need help, and we help you. Period.
We do have an intake interview process, where our friendly neighbourhood social support worker, Bob, will ask a bunch of demographic questions and guide you through the services available here at HOPE House and throughout Guelph. The answers you give have no effect on your eligibility or on how much access to services you can get. Everyone in Guelph is eligible.
You have done the hard work of justifying your needs to yourself; you don’t need to justify your needs to us. It is OUR job to justify the needs of the community to governing bodies in order to secure funding and grants for the services and programming we provide. You can help us by providing the demographic information we ask for, but if you can’t or don’t want to provide this information, that’s ok. We respect your privacy and we love it when you set healthy boundaries for yourself. We trust your judgment.
Vulnerable community members need autonomy and flexibility to make the best choices for themselves and their families. The more restrictions placed on them by service providers, the less able they are to juggle their resources in creative ways to solve their specific budgeting challenges. Here at HOPE House, we want to make accessing our programs and services as easy as possible so that our community members have as few barriers as possible to getting their needs met.
Once you’re registered, Parker, you can immediately make a food appointment or access counselling. These are the services we’re offering during the pandemic, and they’re just a click away: https://lakesidehopehouse.ca/appt-request-form/
Again, thanks for reaching out to us to get help. Great job! We are here for you!
Stay awesome, Parker!
Our community members are priceless and they deserve the very best!
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Companion, M. (2010). Construction in the variety of urban food pantry donations by private individuals. Journal of urban affairs, 32(5).
Dodd, W., Nelson, E., Cairney, K., Clark, J., & Cartaginese, A. (2013). Using emergency food services in Guelph-Wellington. Guelph, ON: Institute for community Engaged Scholarship. https://atrium.lib.uoguelph.ca/xmlui/handle/10214/8902
Ellery, R. (2012). Guiding principles for emergency food service eligibility criteria in Guelph-Wellington. Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination. Retrieved from: www.gwpoverty.ca
PROOF (2018). Household Food Insecurity in Canada. PROOF: Food insecurity policy research. https://proof.utoronto.ca/food-insecurity/