Michael House - Mothers kissing babies

Shelter and Support for Mothers and Their Children in Need

We provide shelter and support to pregnant and parenting women and their children in need.

Kind Words from Past Residents

Testimonial

Welcome Home

Shelter, Safety, and Love

For over two decades, Michael House Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services has dedicated itself as a home and resource for women in crisis pregnancy situations. With community partnerships, we provide Residential, Supportive Housing, and Aftercare programs based in Guelph, Ontario. We provide the help they need for the betterment of themselves, their children, and their circumstances.

Our Mission

To provide shelter and support to pregnant and parenting women and their children in need.

Our Vision

Empower resilient women to overcome barriers for the betterment of themselves and their children.

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women and children have received shelter and support since opening our doors in 2002
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hours of counseling provided in 2021
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mothers lived in our residential and supportive housing programs in 2022
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children were supported in 2022

Interview with Mary

(names have been changed to protect the identity of our families)

What transpired for you to apply to and move to the Residential Program?

I was pregnant at the time and renting space in a person’s home. I felt like I needed other supports in my life to help me manage this new role I was embarking on. I chose to remove myself from the negative things like drugs and alcohol which were part of the lifestyle that my friends were living out. I moved into the Residence in the Fall of 2022.

Happy woman holding a toddler

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Apr 13
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Jun 11

Welcome to our website with all things Michael House

We are so glad you have decided to check us out. We Love our families at Michael House – we exist because of them and for them.

Our work is to empower our families that call Michael House home, our care is about providing programming to address areas of need and to instill growth in them so they can overcome and move towards independence.

We know that each woman and family that is part of Michael House is here for a reason and a season of their lives.

If you would like to be a part of Michael House as a supporter, as a business and community advocate, we would love to hear from you.

Executive Director Karen

Thank You to Those Who Help Make It Possible

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(continued)

What did you like and what things did you struggle with in the Residential Program?

I did like it at the Residence because there were other women here that were in similar circumstances to mine. It was like we were a big family living under one roof. The other Moms and I could support each other which was so nice to have.

It was my first time ever living in this type of environment which was very different for me and often, hard to adjust to.

I struggled a lot in those first few months. Once Baby was born, I had this dream of being a family unit with Baby’s father. This was a big part of my focus. I felt very strongly that I wanted to build a life with Baby’s Father and would do whatever I could to find time to be with him, even though I knew in my heart that the circumstances were not favourable for this to happen, but it was my dream.

I struggled with the staff a lot in those early days. I had to do my part in the house and do chores. I was not used to having to do household duties. I really rebelled against the curfew that is part of the Residential Program and would often break curfew and then have to deal with the consequences of doing that.

During this time, I was extremely rude and negative towards the staff. They were young and didn’t have kids so how could they be telling me how to parent. I did not give them credit for having education, training, and skills to work with new Moms.

Why did you decide to move into the community and leave the Residential Program?

I made the choice to rent a room in a home that I found online. Baby was very little, and I thought that I did not need any help. I also was not able to recognize all the help I had been given by the staff and volunteers while I was living at the Residence. I thought that, in order to achieve my dream, I needed to be independent and live in the community without others speaking into me regarding my decisions.

The staff supported my decision and continued to provide support for us right until when I moved out. I was so wrong in this. Moving out was not the right choice to make for myself or Baby. I moved out in January 2023.

What made you reapply to come back into the Residential Program?

I soon realized that having the staff to help was such a great gift that I had given up.

Things were not as perfect as I had hoped they would be. I also began to realize that my dream of building a family with Baby’s Father was not going to come true and I needed to start putting plans in place to build a life for myself and Baby. This required a big attitude shift on my part. My Dad and my sister encouraged me to reach out to Michael House staff to see if they would consider having me come back into the program.

It was really hard to reach out to see if I could reapply, but I did it because I knew I needed this Michael House Program and I could clearly see how much help and support I had been given. I was super excited when I was given a date in early Spring to move back in.

I feel so much better being at the Residence this second time around. My focus is on building a good life for Baby and being the best Mom I can be.

I am so grateful for this second chance at Michael House!

What are some positive aspects to being back at the Residence?

I am so much better a person being honest with the staff and being honest with myself. The staff continue to challenge me and work with me in the areas that I need help with.

Being able to meet with Grace for counseling has been so helpful in my journey to turn things around. I can now admit my mistakes more readily and move on from them instead of being stuck. Baby is around other babies, and I can connect with Moms with little ones.

Now I know that I do chores to have a good place for my baby to grow up in. I can cook for us and make healthy choices each day which is so much more positive than when I was here before.

Michael House is a very welcoming place. It is sometimes still hard to be here, but it is an absolute Blessing to be here. My baby is healthy and growing and we have a safe and secure place to live and have a roof over our heads at night. That is something to be so grateful for every day.

When you encounter other Moms who may struggle with being at the Residence, how do you respond?

I try to share my experience with them, and I know how great it is to be here, so I try to remain positive. When there is talk that is not wholesome, I remove myself from the negativity and choose to stay positive and upbeat because I must make decisions that are best for myself and my baby.

What are your next steps?

I am so very excited that in August, I can move over to Supportive Housing and have my own little apartment for me and Baby. We can have our own space where we can be a family, but we will also be with other Moms and children together to support each other and do life together. I will so miss being at the Residence and am a bit nervous to take this next big step toward independence, but I know that I am ready for it. The staff at the Residence have worked with me and prepared me for this.

Some of my personal goals are:

Executive Director Thoughts

Mary has come through a hard season with major life upheavals and growth that she has undergone. She is walking through a new season where she can look and see opportunities instead of obstacles and is doing life with a grateful heart for second chances. Her outlook is one of positivity and excitement. I believe that Mary is a beautiful, bright light that is going to change the world if she continues on this path.

We are excited to welcome her to the Supportive Housing Program and know that continued growth will happen in this new place and space that she gets to call home. We look forward to seeing where she is going to end up as she works on achieving the goals she has set out for herself!