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BOARDING HOMES MINISTRY

Update

Boarding Homes Ministry hopes to return to active visits in the Spring of 2022, in accordance with COVID restrictions. Restrictions on gatherings indoors precluded us from visiting over the past winter due to the cramped nature of boarding home gathering spaces, and the large number of residents in each house.

We will be actively recruiting new team members to replace the team members who retired or died during the COVID-19 crisis. 

In the meantime, we have been very busy with our other education and pastoral programs. The Workshop has been greatly enhanced by a new Trauma Aware Congregations curriculum and a set of first-person documentary films highlighting mental health stigma and pathways to inclusion. We have shared these videos already with great success. Many thanks to the estate of Dr. Grant Farrow, who made this project possible.

In 2021, we developed an Affordable Psychotherapy program for people in distress who don't have the resources to pay a therapist. We have had a great response from our referring partners in the community, and from our new clients.

Why Connect?

BHM co-creates communities of welcome and inclusion

with people who live with mental illness, addictions, and poverty.

 

Through home visits and community education, we reduce social isolation wrought by stigma.

 

Through non-denominational spiritual care, we meet deep human needs

for recognition, connection, and meaning.

 

Society is strengthened and health is improved when we practice inclusion.

BHM sees people’s gifts and celebrates them, and we create community together.

A word from a longtime volunteer. 

"I am one of the initial volunteers with Boarding Homes Ministry. During

that long time I have learned the significance of

. committment

. the power of listening

. being reliable in friendship

. the beauty of hearing a resident repeating the Lord's Prayer in his first

language as others repeated in English

. showing love by sharing food treats

. presence and being quiet together

. accepting that what happens may be a mystery

I am blessed by the residents I have known and my relationships.

-Phyllis"

Our Values

 

BHM values and practices inclusion, particularly the inclusion of people living with mental illness. We practice inclusion through shared hospitality, attentive companionship, community education, and affordable psychotherapy.

​Because the core of this ministry is our home visits, we value reverent attention. Although people in the homes have often been stigmatized or rejected, we try to see them and appreciate them for who they are. ​Because the people we visit have often been abandoned, we visit faithfully. 

We value celebration. With food, we celebrate birthdays, ordinary days, sobriety, survival. We encourage second helpings. Generosity affirms that each individual deserves much more than the minimum. 

We value mutuality. We don’t just give, we receive. The care we give is not a one-way street: everyone has something to offer. Even sharing silence together is a gift. 

We value diversity. We don’t impose our beliefs or values. We offer spiritual and emotional support according to the needs of each person.

 

We believe firmly in agenda-free presence: simply appreciating the person, never trying to evaluate, assess, or change them.

Inclusion begins with truly seeing each other, and taking delight in each other.

"We are called to live in joyful communion with God and neighbour"

—a resident

A boarding homes resident gets a haircut by our volunteer Maddy

* All residents pictured on our site have enthusiastically agreed to be featured

Rev. Rodger Hunter- BHM Founder, starting up the barbecue at a visit 

Team members Andi, Jim, and Maddy meet up before a house visit

Resident Voices

"My mom has died, my dad is old, and I’m an only child. I’m really worried that I’ll be lonely. That’s why I need you guys."

— a Resident 

"There are friends, and there are friends no matter what happens. You guys treat me better than my real family. You are the alpha and omega of friendship and love. No matter what, you never abandon us."

— a Resident 

"I don’t know what I'd do without Wednesdays. It’s the only thing that gets my mind off the hassles. There are so many people out there just giving me a hard time. On Wednesday I can look forward to seeing you guys. I can get out of the house and actually communicate with people."

— Glen