We often get asked, “How do you know how the families are doing after their leave Interval House?” And it’s a good question! After a family leaves our shelter for their new home, we want to make sure that we know they’re still on the road to success and independence.
That’s why the staff in our Transitional Housing & Resettlement program make sure to keep in touch with our former residents in various ways throughout the year. Around the holiday season, that means inviting all the women and kids who moved out of the shelter in the past year to an extra-special Christmas reunion event!
A few weeks ago, roughly 100 of our former residents came together at an event organized just for them. There were fun activities for the children like cookie decorating, arts and crafts, colouring, and watching holiday movies. For the kids, the highlight of the night was when Santa Claus himself made an appearance at the party! The room was filled with cheering and squeals as Santa entered the room. Each kid got to take a photo with Santa and let him know what’s on their wish list this year.
Meanwhile, the women made those wish lists a reality when visiting our toy room, which was full of donated new toys for them to choose from, to take home as special gifts for their kids to open over the holidays.
One of the wonderful things about events like our holiday party is the opportunity for friends to reconnect and rebuild a sense of community. Two women who lived at Interval House this past year for over nine months – each had faced additional barriers to accessing housing, which lengthened their stay—had developed a close friendship. At the party, the two saw one another for the first time after they each moved out earlier this fall. The looks on their faces as they embraced each other, laughing gleefully, was a moment of pure joy.
Events like this one couldn’t happen without our supporters in the community. We’re so grateful to the community members who organized toy drives and donated toys and gifts to fill our toy room! Huge thanks also go out to the volunteers who supported the evening and helped to make it extra-special for the families that attended.