House of Friendship fonds

Classification scheme: 

Dates of Creation: 1938- 
Note: Further accruals are expected.

Physical Description: 22 cm of textual material; 1 microfilm reel

Administrative History: The "House of Friendship for All Nations" was a storefront mission founded by Joseph Cramer and others in Kitchener in 1939. Local Mennonite conferences and congregations lent their support by forming an advisory committee that became the first board. The first activities of the House of Friendship included providing shelter and meals to transients. In the ensuing decades, it grew into a community social service agency providing a wide range of services to low-income people in Waterloo Region. Its programs are no longer exclusively administered by the Mennonite community.

Custodial History: Records were received from the House of Friendship and various individuals. In 2010, the fonds was reappraised. Scattered board minutes beyond the year 1967, financial records, and correspondence were returned to the organization for their corporate archives. Accruals of annual reports and some informal records are expected to continue.

Scope and Content: The fonds contains board minutes and annual reports of the House of Friendship, documenting changes in staff, programming, and facilities over the years of its existence. The correspondence of its first director, Joseph Cramer, can also be found here. In addition, informal records document milestones and special events in the life of the organization.

Note: For House of Friendship newsletters and published materials, search the CGUC library. Some photographs can be found in the Mennonite Archival Image Database.

File List:

Series 1: Formal Records

  1. Annual Reports
  2. Board Minutes
  3. Correspondence
    Joseph Cramer correspondence, 1938-1949

Series 2: Informal Records

  1. News Clippings
    1939-1987 Note: These are photocopies gathered by Roy Stephenson. 
    Scrapbook, 19--, (on microfilm)
  2. Anniversary Programmes
    1964, 1969
  3. Creating community : the Chandler Mowat story / Ferne Burkhardt. --Kitchener : House of Friendship, 2011
    Note: A copy is also available in the Milton Good Library.


Generally 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238