Work begins on Shalom Small Homes


This week, the groundbreaking ceremony took place in Kemptville on an innovative housing initiative aimed at providing affordable homes for seniors in North Grenville. Shalom Small Homes Kemptville is a very practical project with the aim of providing small homes for over-55’s in the community, on the basis of affordable lifetime rental agreements. Approximately 30% of those over 55 suffer from an increasing inability to meet the rental costs of their homes, which they have lived in for years. This project, it is hoped, will allow them to live out their lives with dignity and peace. Peace is in the very name of Shalom Small Homes.

Corey Lockwood and Jannes Ristkes breaking ground for Shalom Homes

At the groundbreaking event last Monday, Janne Ritskes welcomed guests on behalf of herself and her fellow board members of Shalom Small Homes, Cora Beking, Mary Ritskes and Cathy Ashby, Executive Director for House of Lazarus. Her remarks underlined how many groups and individuals in North Grenville have already gotten behind this initiative. Major steps had already been taken, with the Municipality of North Grenville signing a 40-year lease on property in Kemptville on which to build the first four homes. The lease costs Shalom Small Homes just $1 a year, a sign of the belief the Municipality has in the project. 

Once that support was received, it was possible to call on volunteers in construction, design, trades, legal advice, promotional materials, and those willing to help with the actual build, men and women of the community, as well as members of the Men’s Shed group – all giving of their time, energy and expertise to help provide an essential service to seniors in North Grenville. And it is not just a shelter that Shalom Small Homes is giving to future residents. As Janne said in her remarks:

“We are called Shalom – Shalom is a Biblical term which means peace – a peace not only of the exterior but a deep sense of personal peace. For the seniors awaiting these homes, Shalom will bring an assurance that they found their home – secure in the knowledge that in the years they have left, they can live with dignity and peace.”

Until Shalom Small Homes gets charitable status, HOL is providing a forum for donating to the work.

This is an initiative that could revolutionise the housing situation in North Grenville, and will provide a template for people in other municipalities to do the same. It is a community helping its own, providing stable and affordable homes for older friends and neighbours: what could be a more worthy goal? A virtual tour of the planned homes, as well information about how to donate your time, energy, or money, can be found on the website:


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