Sister Anne Marie Carey of the Sisters of St. Joseph and a number of other interested individuals, met in October 1973 to begin planning for a “halfway house” for clients leaving Withdrawal Management Services and returning to the community. On March 26, 1974 St. Michael’s Halfway Homes was established. The fledgling agency converted a large residence at 277 Rusholme Road into a residence, with space to provide counselling in a home-like environment for men recovering from problematic drinking. Our Rusholme Road location opened its doors on January 1, 1976.
In 1978 St. Michael’s Halfway Homes leased a property owned by Toronto Community Housing Corporation at 234 and 236 Carlton Street in order to shelter older, homeless men struggling with alcohol. This new venture was named Matt Talbot House, after the venerable Matt Talbot (see below).
In 1988 St. Michael’s Halfway Homes took possession of another residence located 35 Northumberland Street to serve as a residence for the Treatment program run out of the Rusholme location.
In 1983, 262 Gerrard St. East became the second Matt Talbot House. Two Sisters of St. Joseph lived in residence with the men until 2003, and are remembered for their selfless devotion to the welfare of the agency’s clients.
Today, St. Michael’s Homes (our name was amended in 2005) provides multiple programs to serve a total of 75 individuals in our residential settings and many more on an out-patient basis.
Our founding philosophy and mission continue to inspire and direct us today in offering aid to vulnerable persons seeking an improved quality of life in recovery from substance use and mental health challenges.
Our Place Community of Hope
In January of 2020, St. Michael's Homes merged with the drop-in location Our Place Community of Hope.
Our Place Community of Hope provides social engagement for people experiencing mental health issues, building an affirmative and empowering community.
Founded in 1969 Our Place provides a front line response to the changing needs of people living with mental illness. In the late 1970’s and early 80’s there was a period of de-institutionalization – with the closing of psychiatric hospitals in favour of community based care. Unfortunately, there were and still are insufficient community services available to support the needs of people living with mental illness.
Our Place Community of Hope assists people in recovery in building skills for independent living and accessing other services and supports. Through its social recreation programs, Our Place continues to supply a safe, stable environment for its membership to meet, connect and build relationships.
Our Supportive Housing program is named for the Venerable Matthew Talbot (1856-1925), an Irish labourer whose remarkable story tells of his recovery from alcoholism. He is informally considered the “Patron Saint of alcoholics.”