Monday, May 9, 2016

Ryan Bolton true story

Ryan Bolton's cover story in the Canadian Champion prompted this blog, which has now amassed over 32,000 views from 374 posts.

True story

Toronto writer and photographer, Ryan Bolton, and I have just made contact for the first time.

"Let me just start with: thank you.
I used to always say that the reason I write, the reason I tell stories, is that if one person reads something I penned and questions society, questions ideology, or starts a conversation about a topic, I've done my job.
And eight years removed, you just showcased this. On a story I hold near and dear, nonetheless."

Expect us to explore the background to this original article much more. At the time, Bolton was an intern at the Burlington Post back in 2008. Through his own investigation he started to uncover that members of the communities affected by a housing crises were being pushed out of affluent Milton, Burlington and Oakville into Hamilton or Toronto.

Bolton was struck by the fact that in Halton, with almost half a million people, there weren't any resources.
"In an affluent community that has money to spend, they wouldn't on those from poor socio-economic backgrounds." 
It was the September 12, 2008 Champion story written by Bolton that stimulated us to act. There were many challenges and dead-ends in the first few years. We persisted. There is comfort that now 5 individuals or families have graduated from the resulting Milton Transitional Housing program.

Bolton fittingly shared this quote from Robin Williams
"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world"


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Where the MTH story began - Canadian Champion

"Homelessness on the rise" 

This was the headline on the September 12, 2008 Milton Canadian Champion which stimulated both this blog and ultimately what became Milton Transitional Housing.

The Champion has graciously provided us permission to include that defining front page on our new website. Their current editor, Catherine O'Hara and I met this morning to chat about this journey.

It is a thrill for all of us involved to see the charity expand to help those at risk of homelessness in our community. The need is real and growing. You are enabling us to make a difference. It has had a profound effect on those people supported through the program.

The new Milton Transitional Housing website is anticipated at the end of June.  It will explore the story of how MTH came about, including the strong sustained support of the Champion.

Image reproduced courtesy of Milton Canadian Champion

Monday, April 25, 2016

800 Empty Bowls and counting

Those who are now the owner's of a shiny new Empty Bowl will have been enriched by the shared experience yesterday in the Milton community.

It was again incredible to see so many contented members of the community, young and old, chatting while enjoying lunch together at the Milton Centre for the Arts.

Empty Bowls has raised well over $40,000 alone since it started, suggesting we have approximately 800 owners of Empty Bowls in our community. Fabulous. Please display your bowl at home so you can tell other people about it.

Brenda Morrow on why Empty Bowls & MTH is important.

It was very much appreciated to see Indira Naidoo-Harris, MPP Halton, proudly clutching her black and red bowl. Indira has been a long time supporter of MTH from the start.

Thank you volunteers

"Thank you all for a wonderfully successful EMPTY BOWLS yesterday! The soup was delicious, and the staff was even better! We really appreciate all you do for Milton Transitional Housing and for working so well together to host this annual event"; added Lorna Turner. 

Thank you sponsors

Your continued and growing support of Empty Bowls and MTH is testament that you also see this issue as important in our community. Your sponsorship is very much appreciated and is making a tangible difference.

Bowl sponsors: Simply Creative & Tree Top Pottery
Food sponsors: The Bistro on Main, Boston Pizza, The Escarpment Tea Room, Gay Lee, Hawthorne Cafe, Kelsey's. La Rose, Mama Mila's cafe, Marquee, Mohawk Chop House, Scooters Catering Shoeless Joe's & Swiss Chalet.

Media sponsors: The Canadian Champion (Inside Halton), Snapd, Ads at Work, Milton Villager & Main25 media.

MTH is a proud recipient of a grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation and is supported by Halton region. Financial grants have also been provided by The Gear Foundation & Oakville & Milton Real Estate Board "Realtors Care Foundation".

Photos courtesy of Stacey Newman. Statistics quoted are estimates.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lunch is served today at #EmptyBowls2016

Head to the Milton Centre for the Arts to show your support for those at risk of homelessness. You will be supporting the great work of Milton Transitional Housing with your purchase of a designer bowl and gourmet soups.

We welcome you for soup and lunch from 11.30 today.

In the years since the first Empty Bowls event in 2011, Milton Transitional Housing (MTH) has been able to help 9 adults and 7 children through its innovative solution in the Milton community.

The best news we have to give you is that in 2015 we graduated two more successful participants, for a total of five participants or participant families since we started in early 2012. All of our graduates have moved into independent housing they can afford! Currently, MTH has five supported housing units (all full) with immediate plans to increase to seven units by the end of 2016 and to 10 by the end of 2018.

We need your support today to continue this great work.Come down and tell your friends and family. Remember to use #EmptyBowls2016 across all social media. You will find us on Twitter @MiltonTH1

People struggle to provide food for their families and keep a roof over their heads at the same time. MTH helps families and individuals in this terrible predicament by providing bridge accommodation and supportive counselling to people in Milton who are experiencing a housing crisis.

We really appreciate all the work of our amazing volunteers and the restaurants who have again given so generously.