Company Spotlight – Hopewell Children’s Homes Inc.

Hopewell envisions a community where all individuals with special needs can experience life to the fullest in a supportive and caring environment. Families of children with special needs face unique and often lifelong challenges - challenges that are difficult to overcome. Hopewell provides residential, respite and recreational programs for individuals with developmental, physical and mental disabilities. Hopewell Children’s Homes is a non-profit organization which houses children with various disabilities in multiple locations with their corporate head office in Ariss.

Hopewell Children's Homes was started in 1983 in Ariss, as a specialized home for 4 children who required 24 hour care due to severe physical and developmental disabilities. The program soon increased in scope and size. By 1988 the home had expanded to 10 beds, thanks to the help of many volunteers.

The name Hopewell was derived from the Hopewell Creek, which runs past the facility. In 1990 Hopewell Children's Homes became incorporated and registered as a charity. Johanna and John Oosterhuis, being the founders, moved their family out of the facility in 1996. In 1999, a 10 bed facility was added for adults with similar needs. Today the program in Ariss consists of a 10 bed children's facility and a 12 bed adult facility. 1 bed is used for respite.

In 2003 a new program, called Stephanie Home, was started by Hopewell. Stephanie Home, which is located on Stephanie Drive in Guelph, provides respite care to approximately 50 families with children with high behavioural problems. They may have a variety of diagnosis, although often with autism. Typically, the children will stay at Stephanie Home for 3 to 4 days each month.

In 2005 a new recreational program, called Playsense was started by Hopewell. Playsense, which is located at the Shelldale Centre in Guelph, provides adapted respite and recreational programs to children and adults as well with developmental disabilities. Playsense also provides programs and workshops for a variety of groups.

Says John Oosterhuis, founder of Hopewell Children’s Home Inc., “We are appreciative of the work HLB has done for us thus far. They are very professional and knowledgeable and have taken on everything that we have thrown at them with a smile and competence. They are literally a phone call or email away with a prompt solution. They have been instrumental to our growth and we are confident they will continue to provide innovative ideas on how to move us forward for years to come.”

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