Toronto, February 1, 2022.
La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, a private philanthropic foundation which, since the onset of the pandemic, has concentrated on food insecurity, the street-involved and those falling through the cracks, has given Restorative Justice Housing Ontario (RJHO) a donation of $252,000. The donation is intended to enable this fledgling organization to expand in a segment where there is a lack of support for an overlooked community.
RJHO will use the funds to operate two residences for people coming out of prison who have no other place to live. A five-bedroom men’s residence opened in January 2022 and RJHO is working with several supportive faith-based groups to identify the best location for a four-bedroom women’s residence, which will hopefully open in Spring 2022.
James Booty, the Executive Director of La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, said of confirming the donation, “We want to support RJHO’s initiative. As difficult as it is for many to find housing in this market, it is especially hard for former inmates. But without stable housing, it is hard to find a job, open a bank account, or become a member of a community. The evidence is overwhelming that recidivism increases dramatically without stable housing. RJHO provides this foundation.” The foundation hopes that this gift, and their confidence in RJHO and its vision, will spur on others to help this stigmatized community.
Jim Harbell, Chair of RJHO, responds that “We appreciate both the financial support and the endorsement of our vision that this donation implies. It validates not only our work, but it underlines the importance that La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso gives to community building. We are deeply grateful.”
RJHO provides transitional, rent-geared-to-income housing for people who want to make a sincere effort to turn their lives around after leaving prison. It currently operates three homes in the Greater Toronto Area. The “Restorative Justice” part of the organization’s name recognizes that when a crime is committed the community is harmed. When a community feels less safe or fears for its property, its sense of well-being is damaged. Putting someone in prison does not restore the community to wholeness. Residents of RJHO homes are committed to giving back to society and the community and this can take many forms – from shovelling neighbours’ snow or taking out their garbage, to more formal actions like volunteering at food banks or becoming a member of local religious congregations.
For more information:
Contact Jim Harbell at firstname.lastname@example.org