Funds almost in place for Good Shepherd Square

  • October 26, 2011

Hamilton’s Good Shepherd Refuge has passed the halfway mark of its $10-million fundraising goal to complete Good Shepherd Square, the city’s first complex of buildings that will house social services to combat poverty.

Alan Whittle, Good Shepherd’s director of community relations and planning, says it’s an innovative approach in tackling poverty that includes access to affordable housing and social services within the same vicinity.

“This effort is the first of its kind in Canada and is another reason for the community to be proud of its long history of extending a helping hand, compassion and faith to those in need,” said Brother Richard MacPhee, the Good Shepherd’s executive director.

The city, provincial and federal governments have committed $45 million to build Good Shepherd Square, leaving $10 million to be raised by Good Shepherd Refuge and the Hamilton community. The campaign is just over halfway there, having raised $5.5 million.

Good Shepherd Square is located on King Street West, between Ray and Pearl Streets, which currently houses the Good Shepherd Women’s Services Centre. This centre, which opened in January, includes Mary’s Place, a shelter for homeless women, and Martha House which serves women and children fleeing violence.

Campaign chair Mark Chamberlain said Good Shepherd Refuge is looking for builders to assist with the project “to build lives, resilience and futures.”

“When you strengthen one brick, it can support countless others. Together, we will build faith in people,” he said.

In addition to the Good Shepherd Women’s Services Centre, Good Shepherd Refuge plans to build two other buildings, one of which will include 84 units of affordable housing for singles and small families, a social service resource centre, community meeting rooms and administrative space for Good Shepherd offices. Another building will serve as a Seniors’ Wellness Centre and will include a health facility, drop-in centre and medical clinic, as well as 72 affordable rental housing units.

Good Shepherd Refuge serves 1,500 people a day through its services which include food banks and family counselling services.

In January, the American rock group Chicago will be playing a benefit concert in Hamilton for the Good Shepherd campaign.

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