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    There’s no place like… Home Suite Hope

    Welcome to Home Suite Hope’s (HSH) new blog!

    A weekly blog written by Angela Blackburn. It aims to share who we are, what we do and why.

    If you aren’t familiar with Home Suite Hope (HSH), you have probably heard about, or attended, our signature fundraiser, Empty Bowls. Modeled after the traditional ‘soup kitchen,’ the fundraiser literally serves up soups crafted by local restaurateurs, as well as a heaping helping of awareness about us. HSH has transformed over the years – originally assisting homeless men to now assisting single-parent families, usually mothers, who are either precariously housed or facing homelessness.

    Learn more about what we do and why we do it below. 

    What does HSH do?

    Through partnership with Halton Region, our year-long Stabilizing First Halton provides wrap-around support for parent participants to become stable not only in housing, but also with life skills and child care, as well as take academic upgrading and assessment. Homeward Bound Halton then sees eligible participants go on to study a two-year college program in fields identified as having good prospects for employment and earning potential. Graduation is followed by mentorship and supported employment searching.

    HSH supports our participants and their family as they gain education and employment so they can graduate and support themselves.

    Now, why we do it.

    What is the need in an affluent region like Halton and what challenges do single parents face? Read our blog each week, new posts go up every Friday, to delve into these issues.

    Education is a privilege

    By Sofia Samson, Home Suite Hope social work student intern, York University Growing up in a first-generation immigrant household, the upbringing was not similar to my classmates. Neither of my parents had a post-secondary education when they migrated from the Philippines, and both worked part-time jobs to make ends meet. My family moved in with […]

    Identities lead us to experience both privilege and oppression

    By Catherine Lucasan, Program Manager, Home Suite Hope I am a Christian, first generation immigrant, Filipino Canadian, cis-gendered, racialized woman that holds a post-secondary degree, employed at a Manager level, is able-bodied and healthy, and living a middle-class life. I am all of the above, and therefore, I experience both privilege and oppression. The different […]

    Recognizing My Privilege: An uncomfortable year of self-discovery

    By Sara J. Cumming, PhD, Executive Director, Home Suite Hope I have written and spoken about my upbringing many times in this community, as my childhood and early adulthood experiences directly relate to my professional life today as a Professor of Sociology, and as the Executive Director of Home Suite Hope. If this is the […]

    Investing in HSH is a pathway to the future says Oakville couple

    The fact that Home Suite Hope helps single parents move from poverty or homelessness – to being educated, employed parents supporting their – is what keeps Joanne Peters and her husband Michael Bowick investing in HSH. “It’s not only supporting vulnerable women and children in the community, but providing a framework to allow them to […]

    HSH Celebrates Women: Leah Burton, HSH Case Manager

    While International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 was officially marked Monday, March 8, HSH is celebrating women – its staff and participants – throughout the month of March. Today’s blog post features Leah Burton, HSH Case Manager, as appeared in the Faces of Home Suite Hope, Staff Edition. LEAH BURTON CASE MANAGER Leah’s passion to work […]

    HSH Celebrates Women: Nikkian Hanson, HSH Case Manager

    While International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 was officially marked Monday, March 8, HSH is celebrating women – its staff and participants – throughout the month of March. Today’s blog post features Nikkian Hanson, HSH Case Manager, as appeared in the Faces of Home Suite Hope, Staff Edition. NIKKIAN HANSON CASE MANAGER Nikkian’s desire to break […]

    HSH Celebrates Women: Krystal Valencia, HSH Director of Development

    While International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 was officially marked Monday, March 8, HSH is celebrating women –  its staff and participants – throughout the month of March. Today’s blog post features Krystal Valencia, HSH Director of Development, as appeared in the Faces of Home Suite Hope, Staff Edition. Krystal brings a wealth of knowledge and […]

    IWD: HSH celebrates Sara Cumming at home at the helm of Home Suite Hope

    Today is International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 (Monday, March 8) and Home Suite Hope celebrates Sara Cumming, Executive Director of HSH. HSH is celebrating women – its staff, board and participants – throughout the month of March. Today’s blog post  features Sara’s story as appeared in the Faces of Home Suite Hope, Staff Edition. It […]

    HSH Celebrates Women: Catherine Lucasan, HSH Program Manager

    While International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 will officially be marked Monday, March 8, HSH is celebrating women – on its staff and among its participants – throughout the month of March. Today’s blog post features Catherine Lucasan, HSH Program Manager, as appeared in the Faces of Home Suite Hope, Staff Edition. CATHERINE LUCASAN PROGRAM MANAGER […]

    Sheridan students share talents with Home Suite Hope

    Home Suite Hope has welcomed a trio of social service worker students from Sheridan College. These students are all excited to be sharing their talents and honing their skills and experience with HSH as they do a virtual placement with HSH. We also have working with us a BSW student from York University. Here we […]

    Highlighting rich contributions of Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton

    As we celebrate Black History Month throughout February, Home Suite Hope is revisiting some of the columns that ran in our newsletters in 2020 in conjunction with Black Lives Matter. HSH Executive Director Sara Cumming says it is important to us at Home Suite Hope to ensure that our commitment to inclusivity and justice for […]

    The Richardsons: HSH supporters, donors and ambassadors

    Home Suite Hope – and its unique and successful Homeward Bound Halton program – is a good story that’s easy to share. And that’s just what retired Oakville residents Sharon and Blair Richardson do. They’ve been spreading the word for a long while – through actions as well as words – and they show no […]

    Nikkian’s perspective on being Black

    As we celebrate Black History Month throughout February, Home Suite Hope is revisiting some of the columns that ran in our newsletters in 2020 in conjunction with Black Lives Matter. HSH Executive Director Sara Cumming says it is important to us at Home Suite Hope to ensure that our commitment to inclusivity and justice for […]

    Home Suite Hope and the Oakville Community Foundation

    Our first blog post of 2021 introduced our commitment to dedicate part of our monthly newsletter to showcasing our community partnerships. We vowed to highlight the way that we work together, the goals we are trying to achieve as well as our successes. While our next newsletter is due out Feb. 1, we had in […]

    Publications tell the Home Suite Hope story

    Home Suite Hope wants everyone to know what we are, who we help and how we do it. The HSH team – board, staff, participants, mentors, volunteers and more –  recently collaborated on numerous publications to highlight the work of Home Suite Hope. Please click on the links below to get acquainted with Home Suite […]

    Home Suite Hope Donors: Glen & Ann Herring

    Glen and Ann Herring have been regular donors to Home Suite Hope since 2007.   Initially, they made annual donations but, for the last four years, they increased their support and became much needed monthly donors to Home Suite Hope. They have just made a commitment to increase their monthly donation again and to continue it through […]

    Ways of Giving to Home Suite Hope

    As Home Suite Hope entered the holidays and the new year, The Ways of Giving to HSH newsletter was written to showcase all of the ways that you can support the work that we do at Home Suite Hope. The newsletter was distributed at the holidays and linked to HSH’s January 1 newsletter, but in […]

    Home Suite Hope to spotlight community connections in 2021

    By Sara Cumming, Executive Director, Home Suite Hope In my academic role, I am a Community Engaged Researcher who works with community partners to come up with social innovations to solve real world problems. Most of my career has focused on building collaborations to ensure the most comprehensive and cost-effective solutions at all times.  I […]

    Happy Holidays! Thank you for supporting Hope 4 Holidays!

    Happy Holidays and Thank You! As the holidays are celebrated Hope 4 Holidays 2020 is a wrap – and we couldn’t have done it without the generous support of the many donors and supporters who gave of their time, money and heart. Thank you so much for helping make the holidays bright for HSH participant […]

    The Faces of Home Suite Hope: Mentors & Industry Council Edition

    Welcome to the bonus edition of our series: The Faces of Home Suite Hope The Mentors & Industry Council by Sara J. Cumming, Executive Director, Home Suite Hope Over the month of December, we have made a concerted effort to allow our community of supporters to learn more about the faces of Home Suite Hope. […]

    Hope 4 Holidays in full swing as holidays draw near

    Home Suite Hope’s Hope 4 Holidays campaign for the 2020 holiday season is in full swing! We revised ways of donating this year to follow COVID-19 protocols and ensure the safety of all families and donors – but like the story of Santa and Rudolph goes, we may be hindered but not deterred from delivering […]

    The Faces of Home Suite Hope – Part 3: The Board & Key Volunteers

    Welcome to the third part of our series: The Faces of Home Suite Hope Part Three: The Board & Key Volunteers by Sara J. Cumming, Executive Director, Home Suite Hope A Message from Sara Cumming, Executive Director Welcome to Home Suite Hope’s Third Edition of the Faces of Home Suite Hope series. The Board and […]

    The Faces of Home Suite Hope – Part 2: The Participants

    Welcome to the second of our three-part series: The Faces of Home Suite Hope Part Two: The Participants Edition by Sara J. Cumming, Executive Director, Home Suite Hope A Message from Sara If you missed Part One of our series, it began by offering a better understanding of who we are as a staff. We […]

    The Faces of Home Suite Hope – Part One: The Staff

    Welcome to the first of our three-part series: The Faces of Home Suite Hope Part One: The Staff by Sara J. Cumming, Executive Director, Home Suite Hope When I began consulting with Home Suite Hope (HSH) in 2018 it is not a secret that the organization was struggling. The premise of the organization and programming […]

    The Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH)

    The following is a submission that appears in Home Suite Hope’s November newsletter as part of a series of contributions. #Blacklivesmatter It is important to us at Home Suite Hope to ensure that our commitment to inclusivity and justice for our Indigenous and racialized community members infiltrates all that we do at Home Suite Hope. […]

    New Empty Bowls At Home: A Success

    By Sara Cumming, Executive Director, Home Suite Hope The following is republished from Home Suite Hope’s November Newsletter on HSH’s Empty Bowls At Home 2020 COVID-19 edition of its annual signature fundraiser Empty Bowls.   A NOTE OF GRATITUDE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Prior to starting my position at Sheridan College and then Home Suite […]

    Home Suite Hope launches Hope 4 Holidays 2020

    By Catherine Lucasan, Program Manager Home Suite Hope    Firstly, Home Suite Hope would like to thank the community for the ongoing support that is has been sharing with our families during this challenging time. Many are settled in and adjusting to our new virtual reality well. We would also like to thank all of […]

    Firehall and Por Vida help fill Empty Bowls

    A trio of chefs at Oakville-based Catch Hospitality Group have caught on to the magic of soup – and will share their treasure trove at this year’s Empty Bowls At Home. The sold-out Oct. 25 event – the COVID-19 edition of Home Suite Hope’s annual signature fundraiser Empty Bowls – is a new take on […]

    HSH featured in oakvillenews.org

    This week’s blog post features a recent interview Home Suite Hope (HSH) Executive Director Sara Cumming gave to oakvillenews.org and its journalist Lynn Lau. The publicity is most welcome as the date of HSH’s signature fundraiser Empty Bowls – its COVID-19 edition with new partner Food for Life, Empty Bowls At Home – nears: it […]

    Empty Bowls At Home supports new HSH youth pilot program

    Home Suite Hope (HSH) is adapting its signature Empty Bowls fundraiser amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s version, Empty Bowls At Home, is slated for October 25. If you haven’t got your order in – for a soup kit that feeds two, featuring four tasty soups from a quartet of local restaurants and breads from […]

    Setting the record straight on BIPOC

    In past editions of our newsletter we wrote about the importance of moving beyond hashtags and social media posts, to actions that encompass the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. As a result, we devoted this space of our newsletter to highlighting Home Suite Hope’s efforts and to showcase the contributions of our BIPOC (Black, […]

    Madeleine wins FCT Scholarship: a win for everyone

    Home Suite Hope (HSH) joined FCT Sept. 10 for a virtual celebration of the Home Suite Hope’s FCT William G. Davis Scholarship winner. Here’s what FCT later posted on its website – for a video interview with Madeleine, visit: https://fct.ca/blog/meet-madeleine-our-william-g-davis-scholarship-recipient/ Meet Madeleine, our William G. Davis Scholarship recipient Sep 18th, 2020 | By FCT At […]

    Introducing Empty Bowls At Home

    Empty Bowls is BACK! Introducing Empty Bowls At Home – a partnership with @_HomeSuiteHope and @foodforlifecan. You’ll receive – 🍜4 soups from local chefs 🍜Bread for dipping 🍜A ceramic bowl 👉ALL DELIVERED Together, we will support the Homeward Bound Halton Youth Program #Halton #SoupON Empty Bowls returns After our tremendously successful Empty Bowls 2019, the Home […]

    HSH moves forward with new faces and roles on its board

    A change of season. Home Suite Hope (HSH) is solid and growing – boasting great success rate stats and in the process of one of its largest intakes in its history. It is also experiencing a season of change – at its highest level, on its board of directors. A board of directors is a […]

    HSH’s commitment to inclusivity and justice

    #Blacklivesmatter It is important to us at Home Suite Hope to ensure that our commitment to inclusivity and justice for our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) community members infiltrates all that we do at Home Suite Hope. As such, for the remainder of the year we will dedicate this portion of our newsletter to […]

    Leading HSH: Sara is at the helm

    Teachers are on the frontline as school resuming amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is top of everyone’s mind. Teachers’ dedication to their students and their vocation are commendable. We all know… most everyone, young or old, has their favourite teacher. Here at Home Suite Hope (HSH), our favourite teacher is Dr. Sara Cumming, who also happens […]

    HSH upgrades its database

    HSH welcomed Brian Paquette, as Data Entry Clerk for the summer. Brian is working with Krystal Valencia, HSH director of development, to implement the Salesforce database. Home Suite Hope is grateful to Salesforce, for access to its CRM (customer relationship management) through its Power of Us campaign. Hats off to Salesforce team members Jeremiah Diaz, […]

    HSH seeks experts to share life skills

    Are you an expert in your field? Do you have great information to share? Would you like to help our single parent families? Do you remember when you first filed income tax and why? Do you know why we need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) or what’s involved when buying a car? Do you have […]

    HSH’s commitment to inclusivity and justice

    #Blacklivesmatter It is important to us at Home Suite Hope to ensure that our commitment to inclusivity and justice for our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) community members infiltrates all that we do at Home Suite Hope.  As such, for the remainder of the year we will dedicate this portion of our newsletter to […]

    Claire’s journey

    Claire has travelled a long road from her native country, The Philippines. Her journey has required courage to face many challenges, demanded tough decisions and come with many personal sacrifices. “I am divorced… annulled,” says Claire, explaining that in The Philippines there is no divorce. Claire, was 25 and working as a regional manager at […]

    Single parents have their work cut out for them

    Single mothers have their work cut out for them as they seek employment. As this blog attempts to follow the journey single moms face as they move from poverty and homelessness to stability, it has looked at the state of poverty in Halton, Ontario and Canada and the incidence of single parenting in our communities. […]

    Partners in Change can help change the story

    Home Suite Hope (HSH) is sharing the personal stories of its participants in order to make people aware of who HSH, and its supporters, is assisting – and how. While HSH strictly respects the privacy of its participants, it also wants to share how it helps people journey from poverty to stability, often breaking the […]

    Are you or someone you know eligible for HSH programs?

    Have you wondered if you or someone you know is eligible for Home Suite Hope’s (HSH) programming? HSH often fields inquiries about what we do and who we help. First, HSH offers a variety of programs, from Life Skills for the general public as well as for our program participants to its successful Stabilizing First/Homeward […]

    $314,900 OTF grant allows HSH to serve youths – in Halton, Hamilton and Peel

    Home Suite Hope (HSH) is thrilled to have received a $314,900 grant over 36 months from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) – and it’s already been put to good use. OTF ‘grow’grant results in new program This ‘grow’ grant is allowing HSH to expand its successful Homeward Bound Halton (HBH) model to serve young and […]

    Hats off to HSH grads!

    Hats off to our Home Suite Hope (HSH) graduates! You did it and we are all so proud. We also congratulate all of our participants on another year of school wrapped up – and a special tip of the hat for making it through amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It truly was a challenging year. Honouring […]

    Mentoring is a win-win

    “The best part is that it is truly a mutually beneficial relationship – not a one way street as you might assume from the designated title as Mentor/Mentee. I learn and grow from them as much as they learn and grow from me! A true human connection cannot exist any other way; I am assured […]

    Donations and volunteers affected by pandemic

    As a non-profit charity, Home Suite Hope (HSH) has both eyes on the COVID-19 pandemic – the issues it has created in serving our clients currently, as well as how it could affect what we do in the future. Struggling with pandemic It’s no secret that volunteering and donations have decreased as a result of […]

    HSH expands with new pilot for young parents

    We hope you heard – and will share – our news, which took the spotlight on our social media, this week. HSH announces Homeward Bound Halton – Youth pilot Home Suite Hope (HSH) is thrilled to announce we have a new pilot program that expands our successful Stabilizing First Halton (SFH)/Homeward Bound Halton (HBH) model […]

    Life skills are an essential tool

    The difference education and employment can make in breaking the cycle of poverty will be less effective – or could even derail – without the life skills needed to support success. Life skills, whether it’s budgeting and nutrition, or parenting and self-management, are needed to be a success in studies, employment – and life. They […]

    Are you a Jill of all Trades?

    Picture yourself … shattering stereotypes. So challenges the ontariocolleges.ca website. Shattering stereotypes When single parent mothers come to Home Suite Hope (HSH) and enter the first of a four-year program, they become stabilized in housing, child care, and life skills. They also begin to think about what they will study in Years 2 and 3 […]

    Bridging Canada’s gender pay gap

    A scene in a family sit-com depicts a couple discussing family finances after the husband loses his job. The wife says, ‘We’ve still got my money coming in…” then adds, sarcastically, “Of course, it would be more if I were a man… but I’m just glad you guys let me vote.” There is a clear […]

    How much is housing in Halton?

    Home Suite Hope clients come to us via an application that is sent to and screened by Halton Region. They must be precariously housed or facing homelessness. Though it’s through the Region that they are housed, it is through our Stabilizing First Halton that they stabilize in their new housing situation, and are given wrap-around […]

    Thanks for all you do

    Thank you. Simple words that when said from the heart, carry a depth of meaning that no words can truly express. This week, like all others, but specifically in recognition of National Volunteer Week 2020, we say a heartfelt thank you to all of Home Suite Hope’s (HSH) volunteers. From those who, in other years […]

    You can be one of our Partners in Change

    Seventeen families living in Oakville, Burlington and Milton are looking to connect with 17 partners to help them journey from homelessness or precarious housing to a stable home, education and a brighter future – hope. Halton-based Home Suite Hope (HSH) recently launched its newest mission to help make those connections happen. It’s called the Partners […]

    Coping with the COVID-19 Crisis

    Have you felt it? Disbelief, frustration, confusion, uncertainty, fear, lack of control? As weeks of abruptly staying home, working home and being mostly confined to home wear on, it’s safe to say everyone has felt these emotions. You may be fortunate – have income, a home, family, support. Are you still feeling stressed? Imagine how […]

    One of the many powerhouses of Home Suite Hope

    Home Suite Hope’s (HSH) Director of Development Krystal Valencia is always on the move and we are so grateful she is on our team working to help single parents, who are either precariously housed or facing homelessness, become stabilized in housing and life skills, and then  gain education and employment to provide for their children. […]

    Home Suite Hope is on the job in ‘unprecedented times’

      These are unprecedented times, but for us at Home Suite Hope (HSH), we want everyone to know it’s business – albeit a little unusual. While our office is temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), all staff are working remotely. While we do our part to observe the advice of our health officials […]

    What is generational poverty?

    Home Suite Hope helps many single-parent-led families break the cycle of poverty. Some of our clients teeter on the brink of homelessness because of events that occur in their lives and they need support to ‘bounce back.’ However, others face generational family poverty and are likely to pass the legacy to their children because they […]

    Who are single parents in Halton?

    Home Suite Hope’s (HSH) blog strives to clarify who we are, what we do, and why. To best do that, we are trying to follow the path our participants may follow – to figuratively ‘walk in their shoes’ to better understand what they face, why, and how they can move forward – as well as […]

    Poverty in Halton

    There isn’t poverty here, is there? What is the need in an affluent region like Halton? While many of us don’t know it or see it, poverty lives here. Let’s look at the numbers painted by Our Halton 2018, Income Inequality and Poverty report, researched and released by Community Development Halton (CDH) with support from […]