HOPE House public statement of commitment to Indigenous inclusion and safety
HOPE House operates and advocates on the belief that poverty, food insecurity, inequality, health and community are all interconnected. We offer services and programs that challenge the stigmas surrounding poverty and allow our clients to maintain their dignity and choice, while simultaneously providing them with tactile, long-term skills developed in a community environment.
As a nonprofit organization and public space, our goal is to provide a safe, inclusive space that builds strong community and breaks down barriers using the power of intentional friendships with all people and especially those experiencing poverty.
In Guelph-Wellington, we know that over 6,500 people identify as Indigenous (Guelph & Wellington County Vital Signs, 2018) and that Indigenous peoples are over-represented among Canadian homeless populations (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, 2017; Guelph-Wellington Poverty Task Force, 2017). Recent verdicts in Canadian judicial cases concerning Indigenous peoples highlight how far we have to go towards building a just and fair society for all residents. At HOPE House, we understand that we have ongoing work to do in order to be more inclusive of Indigenous historical, experiential and cultural differences. We understand that it’s time to reflect on how our organization can best contribute to building a just and fair society for all, while learning from Indigenous members of the HOPE House and greater community.
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (2017). Canadian definition of homelessness. Retrieved from http://www.homelesshub.ca/sites/default/files/COHhomelessdefinition-1pager.pdf
Guelph & Wellington County Vital Signs (2018). Taking the pulse of our community. Guelph, ON: The Guelph Community Foundation.
Randalin Ellery (2017). The impact of working poverty on health & well-being in Guelph-Wellington. Guelph, ON: Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination