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House of Friendship was founded in 1939 by a women’s prayer group with the support of local Christian churches. The founding director was Joseph Cramer, a Jewish Christian immigrant who had come from his home in Russia to Kitchener via the United States.  Originally, House of Friendship was a store-front mission on King Street in downtown Kitchener. It had a reading room, a dining room and provided food. The mission was a response of the local Christian community to the physical and spiritual needs of immigrants and disadvantaged individuals regardless of race or creed in the volatile era of the late 1930’s. It was, and remains, a House of Friendship “For All Nations”.

Over the years, the mission has evolved into a charitable social service agency  serving thousands that is a vital part of the social service network of Waterloo Region, providing food and assistance, shelter and supportive housing, addiction treatment, and community development and summer camp.


A Mighty Flood: The House of Friendship Story (1989)

by Ferne Burkhardt

Although it is also available in public, school and church libraries in Waterloo Region, there are no additional print copies available from House of Friendship and it is not available for reprint at this time.

Click here to read online

If you or someone you know has a copy of A Mighty Flood that could be donated to House of Friendship’s library, please contact us at 519-742-8327. Thank you.


Friend to Friend: Stories and Photos from House of Friendship (1999)

Click here to read online

Copies are also available free of charge from our office.


Creating Community: The Chandler Mowat Story (2011)

Ferne Burkhardt has captured another chapter in House of Friendship’s story. Call 519-742-8327 for your complimentary copy, made possible with support from The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation and Gore Mutual Insurance Company.