Habitat Assists In Matthew House Rebuild

Habitat for Humanity volunteers work to fix up the Matthew House refugee Welcome Centre, December 12, 2017. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Habitat For Humanity is helping the Matthew House recover from flooding it experienced in August.

The Matthew House is a refugee welcome centre that provides the first safe home for refugee claimants in the city.

“Those are individuals who weren’t able to make it to a refugee camp or UN office in their home country but were able to make is to our border,” says Matthew House Executive Director Mike Morency.

He says the basement of the home on Drouillard Rd. was hit with 20 cm to 25 cm of raw sewage and they’ve been working on recovery every since.

“That’s our operation centre, that’s where our officer are, our food room, our night supervisor’s bedroom. All of that was wiped out, so thankfully we’ve had some great partners,” says Morency.

Habitat for Humanity is working on putting the finishing touches on the basement to help get the organization get back on its feet.

Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex Executive Director Fiona Coughlin says this is a great example of community organizations working together.

“Working with an organization like Matthew House which is all about helping people have their first home in Canada and have a safe secure home is very aligned with the work we do,” says Coughlin.

She says usually Habitat sticks to building new, affordable homes in the community but she felt it was important to share their resources and volunteers with the Matthew House.

The Matthew House is currently home to a family of five from Nigeria, a couple from Mexico, and a man from Zimbabwe. Since 2003, the organization has welcomed 593 refugee claimants.

The organization has had to turn away 95 people this year because of lack of space and the inability to move families to adequate housing. Morency says they are looking for donations and volunteers to help expand their outreach.