Our Clients in Social & Human Services

Myra House – Buffalo Keeper Nehiyaw Centre

A home for new beginnings

Myra’s House offers supportive transitional housing for men on statutory release, which occurs when an inmate is released from custody to serve the last year of their sentence in the community. It’s the latest venture by Brad Seneca, who has spent a lifetime helping First Nation’s youth, families and adults gain skills and cultural knowledge.

Seneca and wife and business partner, Candace Seneca, both have experience working in corrections, and saw an opportunity to help men coming out of the justice system to reintegrate into society.

“We just wanted to do something. We saw a need for these guys coming out and decided it would be great if we could get a house for them,” he says.

Seneca had the idea of opening a supportive transitional housing facility. He wanted to create a home where individuals looking to reenter society could live while they adjusted to life outside of prison. All he needed to do was find the right property, and a way to finance the purchase.

He heard about the Social Enterprise Fund through contacts in the community. And although plans for Myra House were still in their nascent stages, he reached out.

“I took a chance on calling Jane. I didn’t know where it would go and I just thought, ‘I’ll give her a call and see,’” he says. “As soon as I started talking to her, I just thought, ‘Okay, we might actually be able to do this.’”

Unfortunately, the purchase of the first house Seneca had his eye on didn’t go through. But he didn’t let that stop him.

“I just kept persevering on. I had already written the proposal for SEF, so I kept in touch with Jane, and she was very patient with me while we were looking,” he says.

Finally, after about a year, Seneca found another option: a house in Norwood which would allow space for six residents.

This time, the deal went through. The purchase closed in July 2023, and less than a month later, Myrna’s House opened its doors to the first residents.

“It was only maybe, a week and a half, two weeks later and we had three guys in there,” he says. “There was almost no down time.”

The house offers supportive transitional housing for men on statutory release, which occurs when an inmate is released from custody to serve the last year of their sentence in the community.
Those who want to live in Myra House have to apply for a spot, and complete an interview in order to be accepted. Once there, they’re able to get the building blocks in place for their life outside of prison, by finding work or getting involved in the community. They’re able to stay for up to a year — as long as they follow some basic ground rules.

“We have to have some rules like no gangs, no gang colors, a curfew and things like that. There’s no smoking, no drugs, no alcohol, As long as they go by the rules, they’re fine,”

The house is named for his wife’s mother, Myra.

“Candace wanted to do something with beading and making cradle boards and stuff she had learned from her mother,” he says. “And we work with a lot of inmates, so when this came along, I asked Candace, ‘If we can get a house to help them, what do you think about naming the house after Myra? To help support our guys that are coming out of prison.’”

The house has become a point of pride for Candace, who visits several times a week. She’s even helped to decorate the home with lamps beaded by members of her reserve community, in Poundmaker, Saskatchewan.

“She just loves it and she takes care of that house like it’s her baby,” he says.

Each resident is also given a quilted blanket during their time at Myra House, donated by a local church. The quilts add to the comforts of home for residents, and are theirs to keep when they move out.

Since opening its doors in August 2023, Myra House quickly got to full capacity. Some residents have stayed as short as eight days, while others have settled in for the long haul.

“It’s working out really well,” says Seneca.

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