Happipad Returns – 2021
2021 – Happipad is Back and Better!
Is our current path of housing and how we live sustainable? That is the question which inspired us to start Happipad and remains at the top of our mind to this day.
Housing is more than merely a structure, it plays an important role in shaping our lives. It is a place where you build so many memories and connect with your friends and family; each experience defining part of you. At Happipad we believe one’s home environment is very important. We believe everyone should have a home where they feel safe, respected, and able to live the best version of their life.
In the beginning, Happipad was a humble program to connect university students with family homes. What we observed in those early days became something much greater than a room rental program. We were creating family-like connections for those who did not have a family nearby. We were not providing a room to rent, but rather a home where people could feel safe and respected. We learnt that affordable housing does not need to be a shoebox apartment or a house of misfits. By providing a program where everyone was fairly treated and their needs listened to, we were able to transform hundreds of spare bedrooms into joyful affordable rentals.
The stories from this early program inspired us. As word got out letters started coming in across the country from people young and old asking if we could help them. Stories from older adults living alone without much for support from friends or family. And stories from younger adults just trying to get ahead in life but unable to secure suitable housing. One trend remained unanimous, we are naturally social creatures and were never meant to live in isolation. Yet as a society we often measure success by our independence. This constable battle with the status quo left many stuck in the middle.
“We believe everyone should have a home where they feel safe, respected, and able to live the best version of their life.”
We launched our online service in the fall of 2019, preparing to bring our solution to those who desired a safe and convenient way to find like-minded people to share their homes with. Little did we know that after a few months the world would take a dramatic turn. At first, we felt defeated, not sure if our model of sharing homes could work in the wake of COVID. After years of effort and significant emotional investment to get to this moment, we felt defeated.
However, deep down inside we knew that no matter what happens in our world, we all need a place we can afford to live where we feel safe and happy. With rates of rental evictions and social isolation on the rise, we knew our work was far from over. We knew we had to continue and fulfill our purpose, but we had to change and adapt to survive in our continually evolving world.
Our mission kept us on track, guiding our decisions to help make the world a better place. But, our approach has been refined to better serve those who we care so deeply about. We are on a social mission to help our ageing population remain in their homes for as long as they can while remaining connected and supported by their community. We achieve this through the operation of our shared housing programs, helping to connect compatible people to safely and fairly share homes. Our daily business keeps our mission alive, allowing us to re-invest into our communities and support our country’s ageing population.
Through the hardest times of the pandemic, we continued to explore the problems that many Canadians faced with their housing. We discovered that social isolation was slowly destroying the morales of many people, even the young and strong. We all have emotions, we all have social needs, a purely virtual world does not replace organic human interaction. We reached out to hundreds of community and senior organizations across the country to search for patterns. The results were unanimous, people were longing for social companionship.
This had us in a ‘lightbulb moment’. Connecting these people with a housing companion could help them through the hardest of times. With many of these organizations, we began to formulate a national network of stakeholders and collaborate on the creation of a Companion Housing Program. This model is an evolution of our home-sharing program that provides a greater level of care, support, and safety to help seniors remain living in their homes. This network of contributors allows us to create a national voice and collective support to help people regardless of where they live. Alone we can move fast, but together we can go far.
“We had a lightbulb moment”
What does the future hold?
We will be delivering companion housing support to all Canadians by the end of 2021. Through strategic partnerships, this will include launching several new companion housing programs across Canada.
Our vision is to see neighbourhoods full of happy people from all generations. Homes where there is continual sharing of meals, knowledge, and life stories. Cities where people feel a strong sensation of connection and inclusion within their community. And a country where people of all ages have the opportunity to live in a home where they feel safe and happy regardless of their financial status.
For our older population, we envision a new model of senior housing. Where seniors live in their community and neighbourhood of choice. Where homes are full of joy and laughter. Where there is always a social companion to share meals, go shopping, or travel with. Where seniors have the freedom to live their life as they choose, on their own agenda. Where they do not feel a need to rely on others, rather to continually help and support one another. This is companion housing.
For our younger generations. We envision cities where you can easily find ‘your people’. Moving from city to city should be fun, exciting, and a low-stress experience. Affordable housing should not require a long list of sacrifices, rather it should be something desirable that helps you achieve your full potential. Housing should be a place that energizes you, where you always feel welcome, safe, and supported.
What is our goal?
We want to deliver the safest and most convenient solution for Canadians to find a compatible person to share their home with. This is our mechanism to reach our ambitious goal of helping one million seniors connect with a housing companion, #ConnectaMillion. Every room rented through Happipad supports our mission, allowing us to re-invest in our cause.
How can you use Happipad?
If you are a homeowner or renter you can use the Happipad Portal to rent a spare room in your home. We are not a listing service, rather we are a complete rental program that supports the entire process of sharing a home from move-in day to move-out. You can rent a room for as short as one month, up to several years.
Service fees collected through our program are reinvested into our social cause to #ConnectaMillion.
Interested in becoming a Happipad Host? Sign up now to get a $50 credit.