Shalom Counselling Services Helping People Grow Toward Peace and Wholeness

"A Growing Home for Shalom" Capital Campaign

A continuously growing Shalom

May 4, 2016

The completion of the expansion and renovations to Shalom have been welcomed by those coming to Shalom for counselling. We are grateful for the many gifts and community support that was provided during this project.

growing home waiting room

We are pleased that this project came in under budget and on time. This means that Shalom will continue to be able to provide subsidies to the majority of people (over 90%) who seek counselling with us.

The completion of "A Growing Home for Shalom" provides Shalom with new opportunities and responsibilities to be good stewards of the gifts provided in this time in our history.

We are entering a time of creative visioning for how Shalom can use our space to help people grow toward peace and wholeness.

Some questions that we will wrestle with in the coming months and years include:

How can we use the larger group room to provide new opportunities for peer-support and group counselling opportunities?

Shalom's group room

How will we listen and respond to the needs in our community? How can we work in collaboration with our partners to meet those needs?

counselling office

As we wrap up the "Growing Home for Shalom" capital campaign, we wish to thank all of the supporters, donors, volunteers, contractors, tradespeople and community members who helped to make this process a success. The need for counselling continues to be evident in the increased demand for Shalom's services and we are answering this call.


Moving home

November 11, 2015

Shalom is home! After 6 months of construction and many changes to our home, Shalom has moved back into 9 Avondale. Staff and clients alike are excited by the bright and welcoming space that has been created.


Throughout the time of transition and construction, Shalom has continued our core work of providing counselling, and we are so grateful to the many partners, financially and logistically who have made this period of transition so smooth.

moving back into Shalom

We are excited to be back in our newly renovated home and we look forward to sharing our new space with you at an open house on Thursday, December 10 from 4-7 pm.


The new and the old

September 8, 2015

trim on ladder

Walking into Shalom I was greeted by the sight of a ladder full of stained trim at the far end of Shalom's new waiting room. The trim reminded me of Shalom before the renovations, of the trim on the windows in the counsellors' offices. The warm, dark trim that surrounded bright windows greeting counsellors and clients alike.

As I looked at the trim sitting on the ladder, and the ornamental trim in the next office, I was reminded that despite the growth, Shalom is still the same organization that has been providing counselling services for over 32 years. Shalom's growing home will look very different in some ways, with new hallways, more offices, and a much improved waiting room. However, the core of the organization, the counsellors, the sense of being home, will still be there, along with the traditional trim.

In other news, the exterior of the building is nearly complete, with an accessible entrance and paving complete.


Adding some colour

August 25, 2015


new staircase

The inside of Shalom's growing home is looking more and more like a finished product. Despite some short delays, the construction is continuing and we want to thank Arnie and Murray Leis's team for the hard work they are doing in creating Shalom's growing home.

Throughout the renovation and construction process to date, it has been hard to imagine what Shalom's new home will look like. The addition of some colour to the walls has begun to bring the space to life. The paint is starting to make Shalom's growing home feel warm and inviting. See below for some of the changes happening at Shalom.

The new main staircase is in...

The drywall is on...


And now a touch of colour...



Working on the inside

July 29, 2015

Walking around the exterior of the renovations at Shalom it would be easy to think that the renovations are nearly complete. The big, drastic changes to the shape of the building are done, and we can no longer walk outside and watch the progress. From now on, the work that will be done is more hidden, detail-oriented and nuanced. It is the work that will take Shalom's growing home from walls and a roof to a warm and inviting home.

Shalom exterior

Take a look at some of the changes that are happening inside Shalom's growing home.

Interior Images of Shalom


Laying bricks requires planning

July 15, 2015

Watching the tradespeople laying bricks at Shalom, I was struck by the amount of  planning and effort that goes into this process. I went out one day to watch the bricks being laid. One wall was nearly complete, and I was admiring the work, when I noticed something I didn't expect. Nearly hidden around the base of Shalom was a single layer of bricks; a plan for the pattern that was to come. Easily missed, this practice of planning and laying out bricks allowed the brick layers to ensure that they knew what was coming.


This process reminded me of the behind the scenes work that goes into providing counselling services at Shalom. The time and effort put in by the staff at Shalom to prepare for counselling sessions and find resources is an important part of what they do. It is that planning, whether in brick laying or counselling, that provides the guide for what is to come.



Shalom still looks like a home

June 24, 2015

"When the footings and frame were going up I was afraid that Shalom was going to become too institutional, but when the roof was on I was happy because it still looks like a home."

This sentiment was shared by many staff at Shalom as they watched the building go up. The pitched roof, covered in shingles, ties the new addition to the remaining house. It reminds us that although Shalom is growing, the core of the organization remains the same.


Maintaining the intimacy and comfort of the home-like atmosphere is an important part of the counselling experience at Shalom.

Growing home exterior


Walls and a roof for shelter

June 10, 2015

Watching the early June rains come down, I am reminded of the importance of a home for shelter, comfort and safety. As the frame of Shalom's growing home goes up, the space feels more and more like a home.


With the addition of walls, rooms, and now a roof, each stage of the framing process provides a little bit more shelter from the elements.

Framing the roof at Shalom

Each day we are moving closer to Shalom having a home in which we can provide shelter, comfort and safety through the counselling process to more people seeking our services.


The foundation for a growing Shalom

June 2, 2015

Shalom's growing home is taking shape. The footings are in, and staff and clients are able to see the outline of what is to come. Each new step in the process makes the end result seem more and more real.

building a foundation for Shalom


 A growing hole to grow Shalom's home

May 20, 2015

With some nostalgia, Shalom's staff watched as the back of Shalom's home was removed leaving the place looking significantly different.

removing walls at Shalom

Creating a hole that will form the foundation for Shalom's growing home.

a growing hole at Shalom

We are excited to say that we have reached $950,000 in pledges and donations towards Shalom's growing home. That leaves an additional $250,000 to be raised to reach our goal and allow Shalom to provide additional fee subsidies to the people coming to Shalom seeking counselling and not require an additional mortgage.

digging the Shalom foundation

Building has begun!

May 5, 2015

The building permit is in, one dumpster has been filled, and we have an excavator on site. Murray Leis and crew are hard at work building "a growing home for Shalom."

building permit and work beginning at Shalom

Thanks to everyone who has supported the "A Growing Home for Shalom" capital campaign, we have exceeded $900,000 (75% of our goal). We are grateful for all contributions to this campaign, which will provide additional space for services at Shalom.


A growing home for Shalom in the press

April 15, 2015

Shalom's April 9 groundbreaking event was featured in an article in the Waterloo Chronicle on Wednesday, April 15. We are grateful for the support of the community in making "A Growing Home for Shalom" a reality!

To read the Waterloo Chronicle article please use the following link: A growing home for Shalom article in the Waterloo Chronicle.


Moving Day

April 10, 2015

A full storage container and empty offices 9 Avondale Ave. S. are proof that things are changing at Shalom. All staff and operations have now moved temporarily to Erb Street Mennonite Church in anticipation of the start of construction. The move went smoothly, with lots of hard work by staff and movers. We send a big thank you to Erb Street for your gracious invitation to allow us to use your space during this time of transition.

moving collage, packing boxes, filing and filling the storage unit


About "A Growing Home for Shalom"

Shalom front sketch

Project Background

Shalom has been located on the property of Erb St. Mennonite Church since it began in 1983.  Originally located in the church building, Shalom moved in 2002 to the first floor of the Erb St. Church house located at 9 Avondale Ave. S., Waterloo.  This move was facilitated by a capital project called:  “A Home for Shalom.”  Shalom further expanded its facilities to the second floor in 2007.  This expansion was made possible by a second capital project, “A Home for Shalom: The Second Storey.” 

In a Visioning/Strategic planning process in the fall of 2012, it was again determined that Shalom has outgrown its current facility.  Demand for Shalom’s counselling services has grown by 29% in the past three years, and Shalom is now facing limitations in the ability to fulfill its mission due to insufficient counselling offices, waiting room space, and accessible spaces.  Throughout this period of growth, Shalom has maintained a strong reputation for providing quality services. The “A Growing Home for Shalom” capital campaign will allow Shalom to meet these growth needs and better fulfill its mission.

Shalom’s principal work is the provision of counselling services.  Counselling is about restoring a sense of peace and wholeness in people’s lives.  “A Growing Home for Shalom” will provide more accessible and welcoming spaces for people to experience that peace and wholeness.

Project Scope

The scope of this project includes:

  • Doubling Shalom’s current space
  • An expanded waiting room (from 3 - 16 chairs)
  • An accessible main floor washroom
  • A second floor client washroom
  • Five additional counselling offices
  • An enlarged group/meeting room
  • Furnishings & equipment
  • Temporary relocation expenses (temporary office space will be at Erb St. Mennonite Church)
  • Capital Reserve Fund (to maintain the property into the future)

Fundraising Goal: $1,200,000

To date Shalom has raised 80% of our goal.  Your support is requested and gratefully appreciated.


Construction began in May 2015.  Pledges can be made over a period of 5 years.


The ground floor will include an expanded reception area, 5 counselling offices, an accessible washroom, and an expanded group room.

ground floor blueprint

The second floor will include 6 counselling offices, a public washroom, a staff washroom and a staff room.

second floor blueprint

Special thanks to the project's building consultant, Brian L. Shantz Ltd., and Architecture Incorporated for the preparation of the floor plans and their involvement in this project.