Behind the Scenes of Holmes Family Effect: One Step at a Time

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Design & Renovation Inspiration

Thursday, April 15th, 2021 @ 12:34pm

One thing about my shows is, most of the work we do is based out of the greater Toronto area. For one, it’s so that my crew can go home to their family every night rather than keeping them on the road for weeks and months at a time.

But what I loved about Holmes Family Effect is that we got the chance to help organizations all over Canada. There are a lot of places that need help – so we were ready to travel.

Working Gear was one such organization located our in British Columbia. This is an incredible place that gives people the tools to help themselves. Whether it’s a haircut, some new clothes, or a pair work boots, Working Gear sets people up to get their next job and thrive as a member of their community. 

A good pair of work books, which aren’t cheap, can mean all the difference for someone getting started in the trades, so being able to provide that for a person in need is so important. And for me and my family – a family of contractors – we see the value of that every day on our own job sites. 

Our Hero

Sarah is our hero at Working Gear – she’s what keeps this ship afloat. Working Gear has a mission that she truly believes in, and together with Cal, our nominator they help prepare people in their community for their next job.

The Project

When we walked into Working Gear, the best way to describe it would be “organized chaos.” Everything had a place – but none of it made much sense. Since this was an organization that gave people clothing and haircuts, it makes sense that there would be dedicated areas for changing. And there was – BUT instead of having dedicated changing rooms, people who came to Working Gear had to duck behind clothing racks to change. 

So we definitely saw a need to make better use of the space they had. We wanted to carve out some dedicated changing rooms, set up an area for haircuts with an actual barber chair, and add lots and lots of storage so they could properly house their clothing and work gear.

Our job was to take their organized chaos and, well, organize it. 

Contributor Highlight: Reddhart Workwear 

One of the big ticket items that people needed from Working Gear was work boots. So many of the people who pass through the doors at Working Gear find a life working in construction. And why shouldn’t they? It’s a good job, with good pay, and there’s space for you on the job site, even if you’re just starting out.

What broke my heart to see, was so many people coming through the centre for work boots, and they just didn’t have anything available in their size. It got so bad that people with size 10 feet, would try to jam their toes into a size 8 pair of boots. That just doesn’t work – you’re on a job site all day, and if your boots are causing you pain, you’re not going to last very long. 

This is why it was so important for my family and I to replenish the supply of work boots at Working Gear. Of course, we couldn’t do it on our own. We got on the phone with companies all over to see who could donate some gear to the cause.

I’m so glad the team at Reddhart Workwear came through for us. Their donation helped contribute to a staggering number of boots that we could leave for Working Gear to distribute. If you saw the episode, you know that we had a truck FULL of work boots!

The Big Reveal

Our Working Gear makeover was really special – I loved Michael’s added touch of including photos from the people who Working Gear has helped over the years.

But for me, the sight that truly brought a tear to my eye was that truck full of work boots. To me, that helps signify the next group of tradespeople who we need on our job sites. Working Gear will help them get there more comfortably.


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