Partnering for Mental and Physical Health

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Homestead Christian Care is an organization in Hamilton, Ontario, that serves people who live with mental illness. For the past year staff and volunteers have accompanied clients for weekly exercise at the local YMCA.

Tineke Vander Hooven, Homestead’s community support coordinator, notices that participants show immediate benefits. “Anybody who goes feels a lot better that day. Their mood improves right away,” she said.

Hamilton’s First Christian Reformed Church partners with Homestead in caring for those clients.  “The church has about 200 people with severe mental illness within two blocks of the church,” said Jeff Neven, a member of First CRC and Homestead’s director of operations.

The congregation, which is joined by about a dozen Homestead clients for worship, has responded to this need by offering financial support for Homestead programs and hiring its own mental-health coordinator.

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