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Lakeside Hope House, Guelph

Web posted on October 07, 2017

Hey Jude!

Hope House, the community services extension of Lakeside Church, has released its annual report for the fiscal year April 2016 through March 2017. The report shows a year of overwhelming success.

The philosophy of Hope House, according to Jaya James, the Director, holds that "the opposite of poverty is not wealth, but community." Reflecting on the word's Latin roots, James explains that "community" means "to strengthen together".

With her staff, volunteers, and donors, James has turned the building of the former Norfolk Street United Church into a community of "dignity, compassion, and encouragement".

Over the past fiscal year, sometimes in partnership with other faith groups and community resources, Hope House has distributed over 135,000 lbs (61,000 kg) of food, over 76,000 lbs (34.500 kg) of hygiene products), over 260 Christmas hampers, some 840 frozen meals for refugees, and nearly 1000 backpacks filled with children's school supplies. They have also seen nearly 3800 visits to their clothing outlet.

At their Food Market, community members enjoy "the dignity of choosing their groceries through [an] innovative point system." And their Edu-Kitchen teaches the cooking and nutritional skills to take best advantage of their choices. In partnership with Bayer Crop Science, Guelph, Hope House grows some 50,000 lbs (23,000 kg) of their own fresh produce.

Other programs at Hope House include a daily cafe, a minimum cost hair salon, "circles" of mentoring for families, creative groups in art, music, and crochet, and access to social workers and community services.

With a budget approaching $800,000, Hope House reports with justifiable pride that 92% of their expenditures go to program, and only 8% to administration and fundraising.

On Sundays, the congregation at Lakeside Downtown meet for coffee in the caf at 10:00 AM, and for worship in the sanctuary at 10:30 AM.

Hope House and Lakeside Downtown are located at Cork and Norfolk Streets in Guelph. For more info go to or google lakesidedowntown.

Rev Robert Lyon is the assistant at St Jude, Guelph, a congregation of the Anglican Network in Canada, that meets at 10 o'clock on Sundays at the Evergreen Centre, near Riverside Park. Robert welcomes your questions and comments, and will be pleased to discuss topics on request. Contact him at