Our speaker on Tuesday, February 19th was Krista Craig. Krista is a Donor Relations and Engagement Specialist with the Good Shepherd in Hamilton where she has worked for the past 5 years. Inspired by the Hospitality of St. John of God and rooted in Catholic teachings, Good Shepherd provides person-centred health, housing and human services. Krista came to basically thank us for our support in the past and to give us some statistics from the previous year’s work. There is much more about the Good Shepherd here: https://www.goodshepherdcentres.ca/ 

The Good Shepherd has a budget of about $12 million per year with $7 million coming from government sources with the rest being fund raised. A history of the Good Shepherd is available on their website. The first service provided was the Men’s Centre which opened in 1961 and served 80 males. In 2018 742 individual men stayed in the Centre and more than 52,000 meals were served.

The Venture Centre Marketplace is set up like a grocery store and is also the location where donations can be made: https://www.goodshepherdcentres.ca/food-bank-clothing-room. More than 80,000 people used the foodbank last year. Their Family Centre is the only centre for families in Hamilton. The centre helps families with housing searches and landlord/tenant disputes. 

Women’s services are supplied through Martha House and Mary’s Place: https://www.goodshepherdcentres.ca/womens-services and Youth Services are provided at 3 locations – Notre Dame House, Brennan House and Regina’s Place: https://www.goodshepherdcentres.ca/womens-services. In 2018, 249 youth stayed in one the shelters. Good Shepherd also runs several programs for seniors: https://www.goodshepherdcentres.ca/assisted-living-for-seniors. As Krista, said, literally from cradle to grave! 

Good Shepherd is in constant need of volunteers and donations. The Family Centre makes up Welcome Baskets and the Women’s Centres require things like toiletries and towels. Youth Services can always use bus tickets and all Centres can use gift cards. Donations can be made at 155 Cannon Street (the old City Chev-Olds dealership).