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May 19th, 2015

Branthaven Gift to Women in YWCA Hamilton Transitional Living Residence

When women arrive to live in one of the 65 units in YWCA Hamilton’s Transitional Living Program, they often feel invisible. They go to YWCA Hamilton because they have nowhere else to go. They’ve struggled with homelessness, addiction, mental illness and violence. The few possessions they carry with them are everything they own. They feel like nobody cares. Steve Stipsits, president of Branthaven Homes, has proven he does care. After seeing YWCA Hamilton’s Transitional Living Program highlighted on television, he sprang into action, enlisting the help of his labourers and suppliers. Together, they donated their time and money, embarking on a $400,000 rejuvenation project that has breathed new life into YWCA Hamilton’s 40-year-old residence. Each room received a fresh coat of paint, new flooring, blinds, a bar fridge, an accent chair and a new bed with fresh linens. Improvements were also made to the building’s wooden wardrobes and two kitchens and common spaces. The changes Branthaven Homes made to YWCA Hamilton weren’t merely aesthetic. They also sent a message to women in the Transitional Living Program that they matter.

“Branthaven Homes was founded on my parents’ belief that a ‘home should always be a haven. Every woman, especially those who are in the process of rebuilding their lives, deserves her own safe haven. It was our goal to provide it for her.”
-Steve Stipsits, President, Branthaven Homes

“It would have taken us years to raise money and facilitate this rejuvenation project on our own. Women are used to arriving to a sparse, bare, and cavernous space. There’s no dignity in that. They need a place that elevates them and shows them they are worthy. They need a place to give them hope. This project hasn’t only rejuvenated rooms, it has rejuvenated lives.”
-Medora Uppal, Director of Operations, YWCA Hamilton

Visit the Branthaven YWCA Rejuvenation Project site for more information and to donate.