Affordable housing for those at risk is a foundation of any community, and Shelter Now is looking to pour a concrete solution onto the task.
Located at 860 Yonge Street, Phase II construction has begun on a supportive housing development of 32 units – including a mix of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and bachelor units – for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness in North Simcoe.
Sonia Ladouceur, executive director for Shelter Now, announced that the project slated for completion by May 2023 is in the public phase of the capital campaign.
“We are pleased to have the support of the Town of Midland, Township of Tay, Township of Tiny, and Town of Penetanguishene for this important project,” stated Ladouceur. “Now we are also looking to our generous community to help us complete this project.”
Financial contributions have been acquired through the support of the four municipalities as well as a generous donation from the Weber Foundation to kickstart the capital campaign, and Shelter Now is requesting additional community contributions for further capital funds to assist the project.
In 2009, the Weber Foundation along with Robert Hartog had donated the full construction costs of Hartog House, the transitional housing program for Shelter Now located at 850 Hartman Drive.
“It is the support and programming that the tenants receive that attracted The Weber Foundation to this project in 2009 and now again in 2021,” noted Reinhart Weber at the time.
Phase II of the 860 Yonge Street project will use a similar design that duplicates the major features of Hartog House by the same designers (Tiny Township companies Quantum Engineering and Innovative Home Design) and will include a common space for on-site programming and community building in addition to the housing units.
On-site case management and group programming to assist with home management and life skills will be featured through community partnerships, assisting those in transitional housing and emergency shelters to move into permanent housing.
The 2020 Simcoe County Homeless Enumeration, through indoor shelter surveys, street surveys, observational counts and data from governments and agencies, counted 563 individuals experiencing homelessness within its boundaries; 23 per cent of those were noted as residing in North Simcoe.
Midland Mayor Stewart Strathearn called the project a “welcome arrival to Midland” and reaffirmed council’s commitment to finding solutions for the housing crisis through the Affordable Housing Task Force.
Penetanguishene Mayor Doug Leroux called the announcement “exceptional news” for the region, and pledged continuation in working with Shelter Now and other partners as part of the town’s Strategic Plan.
Tay Township Mayor Ted Walker remarked on the fortune of having “a leader like Shelter Now” in the community, standing with the other municipalities in supporting the initiative, while Tiny Township Mayor George Cornell spoke to the project making “a positive impact throughout North Simcoe," adding that stability of a home and availability of support services are a foundation for better health.
To donate to the capital campaign for 860 Yonge Street, donations can be made directly to Shelter Now on their website.
Further information on enumeration within Simcoe County and North Simcoe can be found on the county website.