Churches share Christmas offerings to help those living with mental illness and poverty

Edmonton, May 17, 2018 – An annual Christmas campaign at Christian churches in Edmonton has raised nearly $60,000 to help provide safe and affordable housing for those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

No Room in the Inn is an ecumenical initiative of the Edmonton and District Council of Churches, based on the biblical story of Mary and Joseph being homeless after discovering that there was no room in the inn in Bethlehem the night that Jesus was born. Each year, the No Room in the Inn committee selects a specific affordable housing project and organizational sponsor to support. For Christmas 2017, donations were designated for the Canadian Mental Health Association-Edmonton, to assist with renovations to its Northern Arms apartment building in the Queen Mary neighbourhood. The building provides homes for families, couples and individuals who live with mental illness and poverty.

Committee Chair Julien Hammond announced today that the 2017 No Room in the Inn campaign raised a total of $59,483.87 in support of the project. Contributions came from congregations in 10 different Christian denominations as well as from individuals, the Edmonton and District Council of Churches, and the Edmonton Community Foundation.

 “What a joy it has been to partner with CMHA-Edmonton for this year’s No Room in the Inn campaign!” he said. “We are so grateful to the many donors – individuals, organizations and congregations – who supported our campaign. The money collected this year will go a long way toward improving the lives of persons in our community who are homeless or risk becoming homeless due to mental illness and related circumstances. Such a great way to show that there is indeed room in God’s inn for everyone.”

 Gail Haynes, Manager of Housing Services for CMHA-Edmonton, said the association is grateful for the help in improving quality of life for its tenants.

 “The generous support of parishioners and faith leaders has made it possible for those in our community, who are homeless or at risk, to have safe and affordable housing … to have a HOME,” she said. 

 “Through our housing services, we assist those with mental illness live independently, while providing peace of mind to family members knowing their loved ones are in safe and secure housing.”

 No Room in the Inn appeals to the people of churches in Edmonton and area at Christmas time to think about those living in our community who do not have adequate and safe housing. In past years, parishes have contributed in different ways. Some share directly from the parish Christmas Eve collection. Some invite parishioners to contribute through a special Sunday offering. Others do a special fundraiser or make a special parish donation.

Since 1999, the No Room in the Inn campaign has raised $979,112.65 for projects aimed at providing safe and affordable housing for those who are in greatest need.

For more information about the No Room in the Inn Campaign, please contact:
Julien Hammond
Coordinator of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations
The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton
780-469-1010
[email protected]

For more information about Northern Arms or other CMHA housing projects, please contact:
Gail Haynes
Manager Housing Services
Canadian Mental Health Association-Edmonton
}780-414-6316
[email protected]

2017 No Room in the Inn Committee Members:
Julien Hammond (Roman Catholic)
Fr. Danylo Kuc (Ukrainian Catholic)
Virginia Sharek (Ukrainian Catholic)
Bill Calder (United Church)
Don Mayne (United Church)
John Wright (United Church)