On October 12, 2001 Michael House Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services was incorporated and granted independent charitable status. The establishment of Michael House addressed a real need in Guelph and Wellington County at the time. Although the community of Guelph had been providing various types of practical and emotional support to women coping with crisis pregnancy and to their babies through a number of agencies, there were no shelters specifically for this client group in the area. For many years, women had to be referred to agencies in other cities.
Our first house opened on April 1, 2003, thanks to the support of many churches, schools, businesses, families and individuals ― they gave their time, talent and treasure.
In 2005 Michael House was instrumental in helping to start the “Give Yourself Credit” Program, an independent learning school program that was an immediate success and served both Michael House clients and many other youth in the community.
In 2006 Michael House expanded and purchased a larger home. The larger space more adequately met the needs of the community but also provided space for in-house programs such as the Drop-In Program and the Journey Group.
By 2007 Michael House programs were in full swing. We had welcomed and housed about thirty moms, developed important partnerships in the community, and our reputation as an exemplary resource for young women in crisis pregnancy situations was well established.
Since 2003 Michael House has grown from a humble three-bedroom house to a six-bedroom residence offering space to young women and their babies. We also opened an eight supportive housing apartment building in fall 2015 called Emily’s Place. Michael House can now assist even more women and children make the critical transition to independent living in the community.
‘Michael’ signifies Safety, Shelter and Love
People often ask us about our name. “Michael” was a little Guelph boy who had Down syndrome. Despite the challenges Michael may experience in the future, he was welcomed and cherished by his family. Thus the name “Michael House” was chosen for our home, as it symbolizes a place of safety and shelter for expectant mothers who have decided to continue their pregnancies despite difficult circumstances, and for new mothers and their infants.