3435 Ramsayville Rd. Ottawa, ON

Skills Development

Harvest House works to equip men for sober, successful, and productive lives. A core part of this is skills development. We want our residents to leave with a set of employable skills and valuable entries on their résumés.

Here are some examples of skills development activities:

  • Telephone sales – by calling Harvest House donors to share their stories and sell our items in exchange for donations, residents develop professionalism, communication skills, and salesmanship
  • Woodshop – residents help to make products like wooden furniture and, in the process, they learn to follow instruction, complete projects, and work with their hands
  • Office work – residents who show an interest in developing administrative skills are given opportunities to help with office-related tasks, such as data entry
  • Meal preparation – residents with an interest in cooking learn to plan and prepare daily meals
  • Senior Resident on Duty – residents who have shown reliability and trustworthiness have the opportunity to take on a mentorship and junior supervisory role

The skills development program models a professional work environment. For example, residents who work in the phone room or the administration office are expected to dress professionally. Since most men come to the program without any professional attire with them, Harvest House has a “suit room”, supported by generous donations from Moore’s and community members, where residents can pick out and keep the suits and dress clothes that they need.

Skills development is central to the Harvest House program. It is not so much a separate part of the program as it is a practice that is built into residents’ daily lives. Ranging from daily chores to supervisory work as a senior resident, the skills development component of the program teaches residents the importance of developing new skills, working hard, being punctual, managing responsibilities, and acting professionally.