Box 171
White Lake, Ontario
K0A 3L0
September 27, 1994

re: mishpocha concept
     detailed description
     initial documents appended for information

For others who might read this my background includes twenty-two years ministry with the United Church of Canada with eleven years street related work, over thirteen years direct involvement with corrections, five years developing a young offender group home with related zoning issues, developing the mishpocha shared home concept, successfully presenting an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board relating to group homes which redefined the group homes provisions of the region, and executive director of a ninety two bed emergency shelter.

The following uses the name mishpocha (yiddish for 'the whole extended family'), but the name belongs to others.

Simply, mishpocha is a shared housing concept which uses
- involvement of the resident
- stable decent housing
- limited stable support
to assist persons from diverse backgrounds reintegrate with the community; (or stated in the reverse, if your living situation is unstable the rest of your life will be too). These are something like a three legged milking stool, if you take away one the stool falls over.

During my involvement forty to fifty per cent of the residents reintegrated with society as measured by accessing and retaining stable decent housing after leaving mishpocha.

The concept was initially phase ii of phoenix, a young offender group home; mishpocha was able to start immediately as a conforming use relating to persons from diverse backgrounds
- street
- recovery programs
- psychiatric hospitals
- addictions
- corrections
while phoenix was delayed for several years with zoning.

the use is not considered a group home if these are absent

Within Ottawa-Carleton existing bylaws permit
- Ottawa up to five unrelated persons and three borders
- Gloucester up to five unrelated persons
- Nepean up to four unrelated persons
- Kanata 'family' was removed in 1980, no restriction
though many rural areas permit only three unrelated persons to live in the same dwelling. The mishpocha concept has operated for seven years, and in the single instance where it was inspected by a bylaw officer the use was not in contravention of the bylaws.

The mishpocha concept includes

The concept initiates
- involvement of the resident
- stable decent housing
- limited stable support
and within two years works with the resident to relocate these into the community. The concept works because the 'three legged milking stool' is not subsidized, and can replicate itself within a real world.

The housing is rented
- the resident sees the rent as real
- initial costs
and permits relocation if the location is a detriment to residents. The concept uses new townhouse condominiums with four bedrooms located outside problem areas (townhouses offer similar accommodation for $200 less/month than detached homes and the location both reduced the rent and distanced the homes from previous lifestyles); rent and damage were guaranteed for the landlords.

The live-in receives free rent in return for living in the house as support and presence (over three years damage was minimal), though problems are referred to others so feelings go 'out the door' permitting the live-in to function as support/presence and maintain a job or schooling.

Churches are a primary resource, both for start-up expenses/furnishings and for support people. The changed financial climate may make the start-up costs of $2200 more difficult. The concept responds to the faith component where it is initiated by the resident.

The residents come from diverse backgrounds
- street
- recovery programs
- psychiatric hospitals
- addictions
- corrections
and the concept works best where the three persons come from different backgrounds, so they speak to rather than support each others' problems. The intake process often predicates the involvement of the resident. The concept fails by offering too little hope or accepting too much responsibility, but works when the resident sees they can do it in a real world. Social workers often commented that mishpocha worked because with the absence of government funding the resident accepted responsibility, (which suggests that increasing government presence may deteriorate the concept to cheap people warehousing).

The operation of the houses sorted out the details

but the concept requires its own support to work. The houses are funded by resident rent, either from salary or social assistance, with provision for six vacant bed months each year per house to offset reduced occupancy; the initial cost of each house and support staff expenses require other sources (figures are approximate):

initial costs
. first and last month rent  1900
. phone device  100
. miscellaneous/house  200 __________________________ 2200

monthly expense/house
. rent  950
. utilities  0 (included in rent)
. phone  11 (44.56 if business line)
. insurance  24 ____________________________________ 985

monthly income/house
. live-in  0
. #1         395
. #2         395
. #3         395  ____________________________________ 1,185

. income/month (w/six vacant bed months per year) ________ 988

support staff
. salary & benefits  50,000
. travel  15,500 (50,000km @ .31/km)
. fund raising  2,500 (significant within two years)
. other  1,200 ___________________________________ 69,200

. cost/month  5,767
. cost/bed (after two years)  231 (ten houses w/six vacant bed months)

. incorporation  250
. charitable registration  50
. additional insurance  2,000 (estimate)
. directors & officers  1,250 ($1,000,000 liability insurance)

The concept requires a staff person for

without that person the concept deteriorates.

I initially discussed the above with persons within the Ministry of Corrections and other ministries, but budget restraints prevented the ministries from considering the concept. With my present commitments I might be at best a limited resource person.

Rev. Don Anderson