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'Changed my life’: Tenants begin moving into St. Mark's Place in Kitchener


Tenants have officially started moving into St. Mark’s Place, the newest affordable housing facility in the Region of Waterloo.

In 2021, Indwell began renovating St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on King St. in Kitchener to create St. Mark’s Place, featuring 43 living units made up of one bedroom, studio apartment and barrier-free rooms.

Tenants started moving in on Dec. 4, 2023. So far, 21 people have moved in.

“It's been great. Very rewarding career experience. I'm happy to be here. And the tenants are liking it and adjusting,” said Barb Chrysler, a program manager with Indwell.

Most of the tenants come from homelessness or precarious housing. Indwell runs the facility and works with the Region of Waterloo to determine the next tenants from a waitlist.

New tenants are given keys when they arrive so they can enter and exit the building on their own time. They also get one meal a day and wraparound services.

“Some have been homeless for 16-20 years. So now they have a home and they can begin their life and new journey,"Chrysler said.

Indwell kept the façade and stain glass, along with original flooring and roofing. Some of the residential rooms also have stained glass inside. Indwell removed the pipe organ from the church, to create a communal area, a kitchen and the residential units.

“It takes a bit of adjustment. For some people, they're not used to sleeping on a bed and it might take them a while to sleep on the bed,” Chrysler said.

Rent starts at around $550 a month, which is roughly the amount for someone on disability or social assistance. Depending on the services people receive, it can go up to $830 a month. The housing is permanent, and there is no time limit for how long someone can stay.

“They might not be used to cooking, because they might not have had cooking facilities for a long time. So they're learning to cook,” Chrysler said.

Katherine Stumpf moved into the facility two weeks ago. She said before she was living in another Indwell facility outside of the community.

“It's been really positive. I enjoy the atmosphere and living in Indwell has changed my life,” Stumpf said.

Stumpf has kids living in the community and said this new opportunity has brought her closer to them.

“Feels really good. I just spent the last two days with them,” Stumpf said.

Indwell is holding a grand opening on March 7, saying they do expect all 43 rooms to be filled by then. Top Stories

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