The Honeychurch Family Life Resource Centre
Under the leadership of Brigadier Herbert Honeychurch, the Brampton Salvation Army Corp began its plans to establish a city emergency shelter for homeless families in 1981, when it was determined a 26-unit facility would be built in the old church building on Queen Street. Salvation Army approval to proceed was granted in 1983, but group home by-laws and lack of parking made this location less than ideal. There was also considerable opposition from area residents and some city councillors. Nevertheless, The Salvation Army challenged the Brampton council and applied to the Ontario Municipal Board for a by-law exemption.
Meanwhile, families were being placed in a local hotel until suitable accommodation could be provided. This was not a safe solution for those who were fleeing domestic violence at the time, however, and The Salvation Army continued to pursue access to land and the approval to build. Persistence paid off finally, when a site owned by the Region of Peel was located on Main Street and approval to build was finally secured in July 1985. Construction began in October 1985 and the Family Life Resource Centre was completed in September 1986, and officially opened in February 1987. Brigadier Herbert Honeychurch had seen the need and had lobbied for this shelter to be built for five years, spending countless hours in meetings with the City of Brampton Councillors, residents, and Mayors J.E. Archdekin and Ken Whillans. In recognition of Brigadier Honeychurch’s services on behalf of homeless families in Brampton, the Honeychurch Family Life Resource Centre bears his name.
In the beginning, it was thought that the most pressing need was to provide short-term shelter to individuals and families who were homeless because of a crisis in their lives. Statistics gathered in the first year of operations, however, indicated that 45% to 60% of those using the facility were women and children leaving family violence situations. This proportion grew to 80% by the year 2000. For that reason, the focus of the shelter was changed to include victims of family violence as well as assist homeless families and individuals. As of March 2003, however, the Family Life Resource Centre has been solely for abused women and their children fleeing family violence or intimate partner abuse.