May 20, 2022
The Richcraft Hope Residence is a new 42-unit supportive housing building constructed for Shepherds of Good Hope.
Hope is powerful. Hope carries us through the biggest challenges, the toughest times, and creates the possibility of a better tomorrow. Hope is what lead to the official opening of the Richcraft Hope Residence at 765 Montreal Road.
The Richcraft Hope Residence is a new 42-unit supportive housing building constructed for Shepherds of Good Hope, a non-profit that provides permanent homes to people experiencing homelessness, helps stabilize people in crisis, and supports the community through innovative harm reduction programs. The apartment-style residence is named in recognition of the Singhal family, long-time philanthropists and owners of Richcraft Group of Companies. The Singhals made the largest donation in the history of Shepherds of Good Hope to help the supportive housing program become a reality.
The opening of the residence was attended by Richcraft Founder, Kris Singhal, his wife, Manju, their two daughters, their son-in-laws, their grandchildren, and several close family friends.
The event began with a warm welcome from the president and CEO of Shepherds of Good Hope, Deirdre Freiheit, and an expression of heartfelt gratitude to the Singhals. “Their compassion toward individuals who are experiencing homelessness and those across our community who are precariously housed led them to provide the largest single gift in the history of Shepherds of Good Hope,” said Freiheit, “and Manju has told me many times that she and her family hope that they will inspire others to give as well.”
Speaking on behalf of the family was daughter Monica Singhal, who explained that Shepherds of Good Hope has held a special place in her family’s hearts since she and her sister, Angela Singhal, were children.
“Our parents instilled in us the importance of giving back to those less fortunate, and that didn’t always mean with a monetary donation,” said Monica. “Sometimes it meant getting up early on weekends, driving to (Shepherds of Good Hope soup kitchen on) Murray Street, cutting up vegetables and serving lunch to our homeless. It meant meeting and connecting with them and hearing their stories.”
She praised the organization for the very important work that they do, and how it is centered around empathy and dignity, without judgement.
The emphasis on hope continued as Monica explained the intent of the new housing program.
The purpose of the Richcraft Hope Residence is in its name – to give hope. Our family is honoured to have been a part of the process, from the early stages, through to the build, to opening day.
Following Monica, Ottawa-Vanier Liberal MP Mona Fortier and Mayor Jim Watson expressed how proud Ottawa was of the Singhal family.
“Their generosity knows no bounds,” said Watson, and acknowledged the presence of councillors Mathieu Fleury (Rideau-Vanier) Rawlson King (Rideau-Rockcliffe), Catherine McKenney (Somerset) and Tim Tierney (Beacon Hill-Cyrville), describing them as “four strong voices for the homeless and the voiceless in our community.”
“The creation of the Richcraft Hope Residence will have a positive impact on my ward and this city due to the compassion and care that it will bring to residents through supportive housing,” King said during his brief remarks, while noting that the mayor and council supported the creation of the residence through $7 million in waive fees and grants. The project received other support including an anonymous donation of $250,000.
Providing people with supportive housing helps to reduce and prevent chronic homelessness, unnecessary hospital admissions and involvement with the criminal justice system, said King. The facility, he added, aids in stabilizing people in crisis through innovative harm-reduction services, such as its managed alcohol program, and with sophisticated supports to help individuals with complex mental health challenges, substance use disorders and trauma.
Residents of Richcraft Hope Residence began moving in this past spring. They will have access to ongoing care and medical support from Ottawa Inner City Health. Wendy Muckle, executive director of OICH, and medical director Dr. Jeff Turnbull conveyed to the crowd what an exciting day it was for them.
“Today we’re here at the start of 42 more lives to be transformed and many, many more to go,” said Muckle. “So, let’s keep going as a community.”
Shepherds of Good Hope operates four other supportive housing residences throughout Ottawa. New buildings are currently in development at 216 Murray St. and 1095 Merivale Rd., and an expansion of eight units is under way at Hope Living in Kanata.