Our History

Grace House was established in 1974 and has been providing a valuable and unique service to the Halton Region ever since. Our story is one of community need, response and support.

In the Beginning

In 1973, the congregation of Grace Lutheran Church, under the guidance of Pastor Clint Rohr, identified a critical need for transitional housing in Oakville. On January 13, 1974, Grace House formally opened on Cross Avenue in a rented house which had been restored and furnished by volunteers.

Oakville's first group home for troubled adults could now provide supervised accommodation for six people in a safe and cooperative environment. To prepare residents for self-sufficiency, responsibility for household chores was shared and residents were expected to contribute financially toward their room and board.

Initial operating costs for Grace House were provided by Grace Lutheran Church, with the hope that expenses would be shared by the community. An advisory committee of representatives of various community and social agencies in Oakville was established and a volunteer program initiated.

In the first two years of operation, Grace House helped over two dozen Halton area adults.

The Old Mill Years

Grace House Old Mill

In 1975, the community made a generous donation to a Capital Fundraising Campaign. Grace House was now able to purchase its own building.

Official opening ceremonies and a public Open House took place on January 18, 1976. Grace House now occupied a turn-of-the-century, 16 room house located at 12 Old Mill Road. Ten residents could be accommodated along with live-in staff.

Operating costs were now largely provided by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, although continued local support from church groups, the United Way and individuals remained important.

In a financially sound position, and with clear goals and objectives established from the outset, Grace House continued providing a consistently needed service in the community.

In 1979 Grace House became a non-profit corporation with a volunteer Board of Directors. As finances permitted, extra staffing was added to increase the availability of counselling services. In 1998, funding and administrative responsibilities were transferred to the Ministry of Health.

A Newly Constructed Grace House

During the 1990s, Grace House was subject to controversy when the community objected to the proposed development of high rise buildings which threatened the land occupied by Grace House.

Fortunately, when the Town of Oakville finally approved the development plans, provision was made for the relocation and building of a new Grace House. A lengthy process of design consultations then preceded actual construction. Grace House subsequently moved to its new location nearby.

In 2014, after years of negotiations with a variety of social agencies, full integration was achieved with Support & Housing – Halton, a local non-profit charitable organization, sharing a similar mental health recovery and housing philosophy. See: Support & Housing - Halton.

Media Features

Over the years, Grace House has been in the news:
“A Refuge for Lifestyle Changes”, Oakville Beaver, 29 April 1992
“Dedication Shared by Grace House Director, Counsellor”, Oakville Beaver, 28 February 1990
“Grace House”, Oakville Beaver, 30 June, 2000
“Agency Pushes Man Forward”, The Toronto Star, 27 November, 2002
“Mental Health Agencies Welcome Funding Increase”, Oakville Beaver, 31 July, 2004
Access articles at:
Halton Newspaper Index or on microfilm at the Oakville Public Library and the Toronto Star.

Copyright © Grace House Group Home, 2016