Planned funding to expand supportive housing options

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Province announces investment of $2.9 million to help local organizations build capacity.

THUNDER BAY – The provincial government has announced multi-million funding it says will help expand local supportive housing options, a key gap in addressing homelessness long identified by social service agencies of the region.

The announcement, which took place Friday night, said approximately $2.9 million would be used “to help build and renovate 98 supportive housing units in the Thunder Bay area.”

It was unclear how many of these 98 units will be newly available and how many are existing units that are simply upgraded. TBNewswatch has contacted the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for clarification.

The Matawa Tribal Council will receive approximately $1.58 million to support the Matawa Family Crisis Shelter project, which will provide six supportive family housing units, the creation of a new community cooking teaching center and create six new beds and support areas for youth shelters.

The project will be located on Algoma Street near the former LPH, where Matawa purchased a site in 2020 to convert into its new Training and Wellness Center, housing employment, health and social services .

Dilico Anishinabek Family Care is receiving $800,000 to support the acquisition and updating of space to be used as transitional housing with mental health and addictions support services for Indigenous people.

Grace Place will receive $231,000 to fund renovations and upgrades to its existing emergency shelter, with the aim of improving health and safety and distancing amid COVID-19 concerns

Urban Abbey will receive $195,000 to fund upgrades and upgrades to existing beds in emergency shelters for homeless clients, and to increase capacity from 4 to 10 beds.

Marjorie House will receive $77,000 to fund renovations and upgrades to its existing emergency shelter that serves victims of domestic violence.

The John Howard Society will receive $52,000 to fund renovations and upgrades to existing transitional housing for clients re-entering the community.

The investment comes from the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF), which has provided additional support to municipalities and other agencies providing social services during the pandemic. The fund is financed in part by federal funds.

The funds will be administered by the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board.

“Funding for capital projects is a welcome investment that will have long-term impacts on preventing homelessness,” the agency said in a statement.

Mayor Bill Mauro thanked the province for the funding in a statement released Friday.

“I also want to thank the organizations receiving the funding for their continued advocacy and support for people living in our city,” he said. “The work they do can often save lives and change lives, and helps us continue to build a healthy and vibrant community. »

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