In 2015, the DWCC partnered with the Community Housing Corporation (CHC) to move Hughie Carpenter into the Glengarry social housing complex as a live-in peer support worker. The goals were simple: serve the neighbourhood, develop trust, lead with hospitality, and all of this with the aim of making the Glengarry neighbourhood a good place to grow up and a good place to grow old. At that time, you wouldn’t describe the Glengarry social housing complex as a good place to grow up or grow old. Over these past five years, a community has formed, and this community has been living out the Lord’s Prayer, bringing a little bit of heaven to the people that call this neighbourhood home.
Before 2015, a group of neighbours, pastors, and leaders walked the pathways and helped plant a garden in the middle of the complex. They met to pray about what could be, seeking to align with the hopefully imaginative vision God had for the neighbourhood. That led to Hughie moving in. When CHC offered a main floor apartment for use as a gathering space, the Glengarry Community Lighthouse was born. It is a safe space, leading with hospitality and welcome. It is a community hub, connecting neighbours to each other, forming healthy community. It is a lighthouse, helping residents of this neighbourhood to navigate the storms of life, and advocate for their wellbeing.
Working on a finite budget, the team behind the Glengarry Community Lighthouse knew that the kind of hospitality they wanted to offer would require some creativity and partners. Three annual community meals (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter) brought the neighbourhood together every year, and they were always a fusion of resident-leadership and community partners. The fourth community meal was the annual Glengarry Fun Day, which could be described as a neighbourhood block party with an abundant feast for everyone, pony-rides, the Windsor Fire Department blasting water for the kids, a photo booth, the Sport 4 All quad, and so much more. Every year, the Glengarry Fun Day brings the whole neighbourhood out to celebrate!