Author: Rev. David Turner, St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Original Post Date: September 12, 2019

Since 2016, a team of extremely hardworking volunteers from St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Hampton, N.B. has been striving to realize their dream of providing housing for community members who would otherwise have to leave Hampton when no longer able to maintain their own homes. Thanks to the dedication and persistence of those very passionate and capable volunteers, that dream is just days away from becoming a reality.

On land donated by St. Paul’s Anglican Church and the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton, a brand-new independent senior’s living complex, called DeMille Place, and comprised of 21 units, is rapidly nearing completion. The independent not-for-profit corporation created to complete this project is in the process of welcoming future tenants who are thrilled that they will be able to stay in the community they love.

As the Rector (a.k.a. Pastor) of St. Paul’s, it’s been my honour to journey with the volunteers that have pushed this project forward. What has struck me most while on this journey has been the sheer generosity, in terms of time and effort and material resources, that has gone into making this project possible. Without the enormous generosity of the DeMille Place volunteers and the time and effort that they have put into forming generous partnerships between the local church, the Diocese, the municipality, and provincial and federal agencies, this project would not have been possible.

The question that comes to my mind then, as I wonder how we might see more of this kind of thing happening in our region, is this: How might we cultivate and reproduce the kind of generosity that’s been demonstrated in the DeMille Place project? And a second question follows out of it: What might be possible, not only in the area of rural and aging housing, but in every area relevant to community flourishing, if we did?

This post was written ahead of the Saint John Café Pracadémique on Community Housing Sustainability in the context of aging and rural populations (originally posted September 12, 2019).