Home on the Hill Supportive Housing came about when parents of adult children living with a serious mental illness, such as Schizophrenia or Bi-polar Disorder, joined to form Family Advocates for Mental Health, which met monthly at the Krasman Centre. The Mission of this group is the following: “Our shared objective is to individually and collectively aid our loved ones to achieve a better quality of life and thereby enhance our own”.
During a strategy meeting in September of 2010, a number of strategic directions were explored. One direction, that members found important, was the need for safe, stable housing for people living with serious mental illness, in our community.
Also in 2010, the Social Justice Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto held a conference focused on the lack of affordable housing. Saint Mary’s Anglican Church of Richmond Hill sent representatives to the conference. At the conference, visitation teams were created with the direction to visit social housing projects and report back on their findings.
The representatives of Saint Mary’s Richmond Hill formed a team, comprising Rev. Gerald Loweth, Deacon Derek Davidson and Bob Veltheer. The team visited a rooming house operated by Toronto Christian Resource Centre Self Help Inc., and conducted an extensive interview with the house residents. The residents stressed the importance of affordable and decent living accommodations to many aspects of their lives such as ability to find employment, health issues, safety and interpersonal relations. The team reports were summarized in Affordable Housing Visits Report, Housing Advocacy Subcommittee, Anglican Diocese of Toronto, January 2011. Saint Mary’s Outreach and Social Justice Committee had decided that issues around affordable housing were to be its area of focus. At about this time, Reverend Mark Kingham, the rector at Saint Mary’s asked the committee to reach out to other churches and social agencies in the local community to assist in issues relating to social justice and the care and protection of the vulnerable in the community.
Subsequently, the Social Justice and Outreach Committee of St. Mary’s Anglican Church joined with members of the Family Advocates for Mental Health, to form a not for profit supportive housing agency, Home on the Hill Supportive Housing. This agency plans to develop supportive housing for people living with mental illness. The Board is composed of parents and family members. Home on the Hill Supportive Housing has now incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under the Laws of Ontario and has applied for registration as a charitable organization under the Income Tax Act.