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Vera’s Place

We made an old house into a much needed home!

In partnership with the House of Friendship, we have converted our Dorset Street duplex into a dry house for women recovering from substance abuse. This is the first and only home of its kind in Waterloo Region and one of the first in Ontario.

In partnership with the House of Friendship and the Working Centre, we, Emmanuel United Church, converted a duplex into a dry home for women recovering from substance abuse.  This is the first dry house for women home in Waterloo Region and one of the first in Ontario.


Vera Armour

This name was chosen in memory of Vera Armour, the mother of Judy Astley. Vera was born in Brandon, Manitoba in 1918, and later lived in Hespeler. Vera Armour lived her early life in Hespeler and raised four children in Waterloo Region. She believed in supporting women on their life journey. As a home to support and nurture women on a journey to recovery, Vera’s Place is a fitting tribute.

Find out more about Vera’s Place

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Emmanuel United Church

Emmanuel has a long tradition of providing community, shelter and hope in Waterloo through outreach, worship and fellowship. Emmanuel United Church began as an Evangelical United Brethren congregation in Waterloo in 1849 and it is one of the oldest congregations in Waterloo. Emmanuel joined the United Church of Canada in 1968.  The Emmanuel Church property hosts a variety of faith communities as well as other community groups on a weekly basis.  Emmanuel continues to look outside its walls to be an engaged member of the community.

House of Friendship

House of Friendship is a charitable social service agency that annually serves over 42,000 women, men, youth and children living on low income. Program areas include addition services, community services, family services and residential services. The House of Friendship was founded in 1939 and its core values are inspired by Christian faith. Emmanuel United Church is one of many other local service agencies, churches of various religions, and multiple faith groups with whom the House of Friendship works to carry out its mission in Waterloo Region.

The Working Centre

The Working Centre was established in the spring of 1982 as a response to unemployment and poverty in downtown Kitchener.  The Working Centre’s main projects give people access to tools to create their own work combined with continuous ways of learning and co-operating.  Emmanuel United Church successfully launched the Bridgeport Café with the help of the Working Centre.

Ways to Help Vera’s Place

1. Create a “Welcome” package for a new tenant. This is a basket (or other container) that is full of personal care items for each woman as she enters the home. It should include such items as:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hairbrush and or comb
  • Robe and Slippers
  • Body wash and or Face wash
  • Journal and pen
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • A note to say “Welcome” and “We are thinking of you while on your Journey”

2. Give a monetary donation of $300 to Sponsor A Room. This will provide a complete new set of bed linens for a bedroom as each woman arrives to Vera’s Place. It includes:

  • Duvet and Cover (to match each room)
  • 2 sets of sheets
  • Pillows
  • Towels (again to match the room)
  • Mattress pad
  • Bed skirt

Please include a note about yourself or your group that will be given to each person.

3. Make a quilt for a woman to keep as she continues on her journey toward sobriety.

4. Give a monetary donation that will be used for the ongoing upkeep and maintenance of the building – it is 110 years old.

Donate Now Through!

Or, mail a cheque made out to “Emmanuel United Church” marked “Vera’s Place” to:
Emmanuel United Church
22 Bridgeport Rd W,
Waterloo, ON N2L 2Y3

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