about us

Welcome Housing
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Since 2019

Helping Those in Need

Our History

Welcome Housing was founded by Carol Charlebois, the first Executive Director at Metro Non-Profit Housing Association. Welcome Housing has since grown with the work of current Executive Director Laura MacKay and the Board of Directors.

Actively Homeless



Information provided by AHANS – Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia,  AHANS | HRM Homelessness Statistics

what drives us

Our Mission

Welcome Housing’s mission is to provide support to those experiencing housing insecurity and individuals facing houselessness. We believe in a holistic approach to housing, improved life outcomes, and community partnerships. Everyone has the right to a safe and secure home, regardless of their circumstances.

about us

Why We Exist

  • The number of people leaving for other provinces (13,561) increased by 33% compared to the previous year. A majority of outmigrants (53%) left for more affordable provinces. There were twice as many in-migrants as there were out-migrants. 33% 33%
  • There were 22% more adults aged 25 to 44 living with their parents between the 2016 and 2021 Census. The population of this age cohort increased by 16% within the same period. 22% 22%
  • 15% have experienced hidden homelessness. 15% 15%
  • The national turnover rate fell from 15.5% in 2021 to 13.6% in 2022 (Canada table 1.0). A lower turnover rate indicates a reduced willingness of households to vacate a rental unit. This contributes to lower overall vacancy rates and tighter rental markets. 13.6% 13.6%
  • 3% of people who make housing decisions for their household have experience unsheltered homelessness. 3% 3%
  • The average apartment vacancy rate in Halifax did not change in 2022, staying at the record low of 1%. The change in vacancy rate varied across the city but wasn’t statistically significant in all neighbourhoods. 1% 1%
  • Overall, same-sample average rent increased by 8.9%, despite Nova Scotia legislating a temporary 2% rent cap for existing leases in November 2020. Within the same structure, a two bedroom unit occupied by a new tenant was on average 28% more expensive than one that did not turn over (Canada table 6.1). This rent disparity might be from renovated turnover units or property owners adjusting rents to market value because of higher operating costs. 28% 28%

These numbers may look small,

but they make a huge difference. Welcome Housing provides critical support to individuals and families experiencing homelessness or domestic violence by offering safe and affordable housing options. These programs not only provide shelter, but also offer resources and services that empower individuals to regain their independence and improve their overall well-being. By providing a stable foundation, Welcome Housing helps those in need to rebuild their lives and work towards a brighter future.

Visit Statistics Canada to find out more about Homelessness in Canada, and see other resources on how you can help.


welcome housing

Meet the Team

Board of Directors

Suzanne Drapeau, Board Chair

Kim Scaravelli, Board Chair in Training

Maria Rizzetto, Board Vice Chair

Emily Avelar, Board Treasurer

Fola Adeleke, Board Secretary

Sarah Kirby, Member at Large

Enkelejda Little, Member at Large

Management Team

 Laura MacKay, Executive Director

Bailee Lawton, Team Lead, Shelter Diversion Support Program

Kay Spurr, Team Lead, Intimate Parter Violence Case Management

Leigh MacLean, Team Lead, Housing Support and Community Outreach

Michaela Beazley, Team Lead, Operations

Staff Team

Aron Nyman, Intensive Case Manager, Complex Cases

Graeme Higgins, Intensive Case Manager, Male-led Families

Caleigh Penney, Intimate Partner Violence Housing Support Worker

Rachel Jollimore, Housing Support Worker

JC Grant, Housing Support Worker

Melissa Gidman, Housing Support Worker

Jenna Hamilton, Tenant Support & Community Outreach

Cody Higgins, Tenant and Housing Admin Support

Jenn Laverty, Trustee Program Admin Support

Latika Kumar, Shelter Diversion Support