There were a lot of expectations heading into 2020 – a year that, by its name, promised clarity and vision.

“Although 2020 wasn’t the year of optimism we had all expected, it has forced all of us to take a closer look into a range of issues that desperately need our focus,” says Paul Gregory, Executive Director of Support House.

“How do we support our most vulnerable during a global pandemic? How do we support each other’s mental health needs when we can’t physically be there for one another? How do we rethink our justice system pathways to better support those who have been marginalized for too long?”

When faced with this uncertainty and upheaval, Support House responded quickly to change to continue to meet both clients’ and staff needs. Founded in 1982 Support & Housing – Halton entered into the year 2020 with a strategic vision, insights from partners, and a plan to align its growing roster of programs to better reflect the impact it has on its clients and community. A newly published Impact Report outlines these success stories.

“The result has been an evolution of our name, website, and communication tools so we can more easily connect with clients and share our collective successes and challenges,” explains Gregory.

“Now as Support House, we’re bringing the many aspects of our service model under one roof, including innovative peer system support and services, support coordination for adults and youth experiencing mental health or substance use issues, and an expanding range of housing options.

A new website, one-number contact system, and social media channels make accessing and learning about these supports easier for clients and partners.

“From the beginning, Support House has been driven by our connection to and engagement with the community we serve, our health care partners, and stakeholders,” says Dave Bedini, Chair of the Board of Directors at Support House. “All shared their diverse voices and opinions into our new brand’s development by participating in interviews, group discussions, and surveys.”

“Directed by our core values - person-directed supports, a commitment to building relationships with our community and health-care partners, and an emphasis on health and wellness, we have been able to better and rapidly pivot our programming to more effectively meet people’s needs especially during this time.”