Charitable Fund Spotlight: The Family Central

2 minute read
The Family Central - Photo Credit -

There are as many reasons that a person might become homeless as there are folks who are unhoused. Mental health, and more specifically mental illness, often plays a role. Childhood trauma, abuse, neglect, addiction, and untreated mental illness can lead to a whole host of problems for people. The resulting job loss, family breakdown, or other major life setbacks can add up to someone finding themselves homeless. And without addressing the root causes of mental illness, efforts to address homelessness may be in vain.

Located in Aylmer, The Family Central is an agency serving those who are unhoused or living in poverty. Understanding how mental illness can create barriers to securing housing, they asked themselves this question: how can we help community members access the mental healthcare that they need, so that they can have greater success when it comes to housing? With help from the Kindred Credit Union Charitable Fund, they have established a Mental Health Access Fund, to provide community members with the treatment they need in order to reach their full potential.

The Family Central began in 2013, when a group of churches in Aylmer prayerfully decided to purchase an apartment building and restore it to provide for those in need. In 2014, a restaurant was opened on the ground floor, followed by apartments a above in 2015. The eight apartments currently house both singles and families with children. The restaurant operates on a “pay what you can” model and serves over 60 meals per day. It’s run almost entirely by volunteers, with most of the food donated by businesses and community members.

The Family Central also runs a supportive, transitional housing program, designed to move people from the shelter system to permanent housing. They’ve repeatedly found that community members’ inability to access mental healthcare can sabotage their ability to find, and keep permanent, safe, and affordable housing. Potential landlords are reluctant to take on a tenant exhibiting signs of mental illness. And tenants struggling with mental illness can sometimes make choices that cause them to face eviction. By accessing the mental healthcare that they need, these tenants increase their chances of finding a permanent housing solution.

At Family Central, they believe that every person should have a home. They believe in helping people to heal and to find direction for their future. By surrounding community members with the wrap-around supports that they need, the Family Central hopes to bridge the distance from today to a brighter tomorrow. The Mental Health Access Fund will help provide community members with the support they need to create a safe home for themselves and their families in the years to come.


Kate Pearce

Kate is passionate about supporting and enabling communities to connect, make an impact, and thrive through the development of strong, trusting partnerships. Through her work, Kate turns commitments into action and works to bring Kindred’s purpose to life.

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