In 1962, the first St. Leonard’s half-way home in Canada opened its doors right here in Windsor, to welcome men who had spent time behind bars and needed a safe haven to make a clean start.
Anglican priest Thomas Neil Libby and his supporters shared a vision to help offenders rehabilitate at a time when ex-offenders were regarded as unfit and undeserving of any support. Neil Libby pioneered the halfway house movement in Canada and today there are hundreds of Community Based Residential Facilities (CBRF) or ‘halfway houses’ across the country.
Over 60 years later, St. Leonard’s House Windsor is a valuable member of this community and a leader in innovating ways to support incarcerated persons.
Located in the heart of downtown Windsor, St. Leonard’s has intentionally kept a low profile to prevent residents from being singled out as they quietly re-build their lives. And yet, St. Leonard’s is much more than the bricks and mortar of a building. St. Leonard’s provides a place to live for those who have been in trouble with the law, and an opportunity to remove the stigma of being a former inmate through guidance, counseling, and understanding.
St. Leonard’s is an advocate for social and correctional reform, ensuring those who leave prison do not return to the community less able to live crime-free than when they left it.