An image of a building with information about a Symposium entitled "Beyond Housing to Homefulness" taking place April 22, 29, May 6, and May 13, 2021. This is a four-part gathering seeking to deepen the discussion of home-making and housing for deeper homefulness in our communities.

The Symposium

The recent publication of A Sort of Homecoming: Essays Honoring the Academic and Community Work of Brian Walsh (Pickwick, 2020) brought together a rich array of essays organized around the themes of home, homelessness and homecoming.

This four-part symposium seeks to deepen the discussion of home-making and housing. In the face of a systemic homelessness that has economic, social, public health, ecological and cultural manifestations, how might we develop more holistic and integrated policies and practices for deeper homefulness in our communities?

Since Canada launched its $40 billion, 10-year National Housing Strategy in 2017, housing insecurity and homelessness have remained in crisis in remote and rural communities, not to mention urban areas. In too many places, the conversation has settled on the least that can be done.

It’s time to focus on home-making—that’s the vision that should drive the actions of governments, housing developers, advocates and activists, faith communities and others. 

Join Empire Remixed and the Sorrento Centre for an incredible four-part on-line symposium over four Thursdays in April and May. Join 18 thinkers and advocates who have been active in Canada, the UK and the United States in home-making.

Who is this for? Housing workers, advocates, activists, people with direct experience of housing insecurity and homelessness, board members, shelter staff, architects, developers, faith leaders, faith members, politicians, investors, etc.

Format: Four presenters each evening, with moderated break-out room discussions with each presenter.

Cost: $40.00 for the four sessions, or $15.00 per single evening.


Note: For Registration instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page


Session 1: Problematizing Home, Pt I

April 22, 2021 | 7-9pm Eastern / 4-6pm Pacific

This session will explore dimensions of homelessness often lost in models that focus on shelter to the neglect of broader issues.

Introduced and moderated by Brian Walsh, co-author of Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in A Culture of Displacement and contributing editor at Empire Remixed.



Home is Where the Wild Rice is: Settler Homemaking and Indigenous Homelessness presented by Sylvia Keesmaat, Trinity College, Toronto and co-author of Romans Disarmed: Resisting Empire, Demanding Justice.

Homelessness and Homefulness in the LGBTQ+ Community presented by Becca Sawyer, Director of Community, Generous Space Ministries

Welcome Homeless: From Housing to Community presented by Alan Graham, founder of Community First Village in Austin, TX, and author of Welcome Homeless: One Man’s Journey of Discovering the Meaning of Home.

Much Depends on Dinner: Food Security and Homefulness presented by Andrew Stephens-Rennie, former Director of Ministry Innovation, Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver; Missioner to Valhalla Parish, and cofounder and contributing editor at Empire Remixed.

Session 2: Problematizing Home, Pt 2

April 29, 2021 | 7-9pm Eastern / 4-6pm Pacific

This session will continue to explore dimensions of homelessness that are often lost in models that focus on shelter to the neglect of broader issues.

Introduced and moderated by Elin Goulden (Social Justice and Advocacy Consultant, Diocese of Toronto)


(un)Settling While Black presented by Abigail Moriah, Urban Planner and Founder of The Black Planning Project.

Homefulness amongst the Chronically Homeless, presented by Thea Prescod from Sanctuary Ministries, Toronto.

Ecological Homelessness, Habitat, and Homefulness presented by Steven Bouma-Prediger, professor of Reformed Theology at Hope College, and co-author of Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement.

Operationalizing Homefulness: Culture of Neighbourliness presented by Jeanette Moss, Director of Strategy and Development, Salsbury Community Society/Co:Here Housing, Vancouver.

Session 3: Dimensions of Homefulness

May 6, 2021 | 7-9pm Eastern / 4-6pm Pacific

This session will investigate further dimensions of homefulness in our urban and rural contexts.

Introduced and moderated by Michael Shapcott, Executive Director of the Sorrento Centre, and co-author, with Jack Layton, of Homelessness: How to End the National Crisis.


Public Art and Contested Homefulness presented by Adrienne Dengerink-Chaplin, King’s College, London, and author of Art, Conflict and Remembering: The Murals of the Bogside Artists.

Urban Politics and Community Homefulness presented by Joe Mihevc, former Toronto City Councillor, and Visiting Professor, York University.

Sustainable Architecture for Homemaking presented by Emma Cubitt, Principal, INVIZIJ Architects, Hamilton.

Homefulness and the Plight of Rural America presented by Matt Bonzo, Professor of Philosophy at Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, and co-author of Wendell Berry and the Cultivation of Life.

Session 4: Housing for Homefulness

May 13, 2021 | 7-9pm Eastern / 4-6pm Pacific

In this session we discuss specific models and examples of housing development for homefulness.

Introduced and moderated by Andrew Stephens-Rennie (Missioner, Valhalla Parish in Anglican Diocese of Kootenay, and co-editor of A Sort of Homecoming: Essays Honoring of the Academic and Community Work of Brian Walsh)


Housing for Homefulness: New Opportunities in Canada presented by Michael Shapcott, Executive Director, Sorrento Centre, and a founding board member of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

Multifaith Housing Initiatives presented by Dr. Fran Klodawsky, Member of Temple Israel Ottawa, Professor Emerita in Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University, founding member of City for All Women.

Building for Indigenous Homefulness presented by Carmen Lansdowne, Heiltsuk First Nation, and Executive Director of the First United Church Community Ministry Society, Vancouver.

Housing for Homefulness at Indwell, Hamilton presented by Graham Cubitt, Director of Projects and Development, Indwell, Hamilton.


  1. Click here for the Sorrento Centre’s online booking system.
  2. “Event you are attending” – use drop-down menu to select “A Sort of Homecoming: Housing and Homefulness”, enter start date (April 22, 2021), end date (April 23, 2021) and confirm number being registered…
  3. Enter your name and contact info (returning guests already have this stored). Select whether you want to attend the entire series or just one date… Next, you’ll be asked about meals, but since meals are not offered for on-line events, click through this and move on.
  4. Enter credit card info on their safe + secure system…

If you have any questions, call the Sorrento Centre at 1-866-694-2409 

Event Sponsors

This event is sponsored by the Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster, the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land, and the Anglican Diocese of Toronto.