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 recovering alcoholics. Our Rusholme Road location opened its doors on January 1, 1976.
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 1978 St. Michael’s Halfway Homes took possession of a rental property owned by Toronto Community Housing Corporation at 234 Carlton in order to shelter older, homeless men struggling with alcoholism. This new venture was named Matt Talbot House, after the venerable Matt Talbot (see below). 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 within our rehabilitative homes to serve a total of 75 individuals in our residential settings. Our founding philosophy and mission continue to inspire and direct us today in our desire to offer aid to vulnerable persons seeking an improved quality of life beyond their addictions to alcohol and drugs.
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 a ministry of hospitality and presence to people experiencing mental health issues, through a community which seeks to include all people by affirming and empowering them toward personal and communal responsibility.
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.”
St. Michael the Archangel
Michael the Archangel is the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Toronto. The name “Michael” means, “Who is Like God?” Michael is named in the Bible as the angel who threw Lucifer out of heaven, and has always been known as a protecting presence.