In 1967, the Western Ontario Mennonite Conference appointed a study committee to investigate the possibilities of building a new Home for the Aged and selling its Nursing Homes located in Tavistock and Milverton. By 1968, delegates had decided to locate the new home in New Hamburg under a completely new charter. Tri-County Mennonite Homes (TCMH) was born and today it continues to own and operate Nithview Community and Greenwood Court, two seniors’ continuum of care homes and Aldaview Services, a program supporting adults with developmental disabilities.

While TCMH has grown significantly over the last 49 years, with many of its expansion projects requiring much perseverance, patience, and stamina to get underway. The strength of the original vision, and the encouragement of its member constituency provide the required energy for the Board and management to push forward to accomplish its goals.

On April 2, 1972, Nithview Home admitted its first residents and began the journey to its current status as a Continuum of Care Home, providing accommodation and programs to more than 200 residents living in garden homes, apartments, assisted and supported living suites and long-term care rooms. Over the years, more than 5 major construction projects and renovations have been undertaken. In recognition of the variety of programming and accommodation options now available, Nithview Home and Seniors’ Village was renamed as Nithview Community.

The Milverton home, which was slated to be sold at the time Nithview was built, was operated by TCMH until 1994, when TCMH extended an invitation to move Milverton’s beds to Stratford. Avon Mennonite Church initiated a meeting to inquire whether TCMH might be interested in a joint project, resulting in a partnership, with Greenwood Court opening its doors to a continuum of care (including long-term care beds, assisted living units, and life lease and rental apartment suites) and Avon Mennonite Church welcoming its members to a new place of worship at the same location. Avon Mennonite and Greenwood operate in the same building with each entity having its own space and the two organizations sharing an auditorium, auxiliary kitchen, community room and other meeting rooms.

Discussions between TCMH and the Church Conference Mission Board led to the completion of a group home for children with special needs in 1979, located on the same site as the Nithview Seniors’ Village. This home was named Aldaview Home, in recognition of the pioneering work of Alvin and Ada Steinman whose son was supported by Aldaview.

In 1984, Aldaview rented a house on Waterloo St. in New Hamburg, from the Lions’ Club and welcomed 6 new adult residents into that home. Further expansion, in 1990, saw tenants welcomed into the first Supported Independent Living (SIL) apartments and also saw the division name changed to Aldaview Services.

In 1994, the TCMH Board received approval to change the children’s group home to an adult home, making the entire Aldaview Services’ operation a program for adults. Over the years, Aldaview has rented numerous buildings to expand its services to adults with development disabilities. In 2004, the New Hamburg Lions’ Club donated 140 Waterloo St. and a vacant lot to Aldaview, enabling TCMH to build the Riehl House on Hillcrest Ave, specifically designed for 4 residents, which opened in 2005. 70 Ritz Ave. in New Hamburg, was purchased to provide additional accommodation for individuals. In December 2009, 332 Hamilton Rd. was leased and renovated to consolidate offices, life skills and day programming in one location.

Tri-County Mennonite Homes is the legal entity under which all of the divisions have operated since 1968. In 1989 a corporate office was developed and an Executive Director was appointed to lead the entire organization. Today, the TCMH corporate office provides support to its divisions in several areas including human resources, accounting, development, capital expansion, information technology, and strategic planning.

In 2006, the MOHLTC divided the province into 14 regions or Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and by April 2007, the LHINs took on full responsibility for health services in their communities. TCMH relates to two LHINs with Greenwood Court in the South West LHIN and Nithview in the Waterloo/Wellington LHIN.

2005-2010 saw several significant changes in the seniors’ and developmental services sectors. In 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act became law. In 2008, the MCSS passed the Services & Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act. The implementation of the Long-Term Care Homes Act and the Retirement Homes Act took place in 2010. In addition, the MOHLTC substantially revised the LTC compliance program.

In 2014, the TCMH governance structure was reorganized, with the development of expanded Board Committees. The focus of these Committees is to appropriately review various reports and to discuss and discern directions for TCMH. Committee composition includes Board members and additional community members who have experience or interest in specific areas of governance, related to the business of TCMH. These Committees present reports to the full Board at their now quarterly meetings.

In 2016, with input from staff, Board and community, TCMH presented a new Mission, Vision and Values, as well as Strategic Priorities for 2016-2021. The TCMH logo was revised to incorporate the new Mission Statement, “Making Every Day Matter”. The new Mission, Vision and Values are displayed on plaques throughout the divisions, for ease of access by all staff.

The TCMH 50th Anniversary Planning Committee is busy working on plans to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2018! There is certainly much success to celebrate and, with an excellent Leadership group, a supportive Board, committed and skilled staff and volunteers, the future looks bright for TCMH and the people they serve and support.