ONTARIO HELPS BUILD SUPPORTIVE HOUSING IN KITCHENER
Province supports youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
KITCHENER — The Ontario government is providing $3.5M in new funding for a total of almost $7M to help build a supportive housing complex operated by OneROOF Youth Services for youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Kitchener.
“The Government of Ontario recognizes the importance of local solutions to ensure people in communities like Kitchener have access to safe and affordable housing now and for years to come,” said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener – Conestoga. “The new complex will provide youth who are experiencing homelessness with a safe and stable place to call home and supports to get them back on track to safety and stability.”
Located at 35 Sheldon Avenue North, the 44-unit modular housing complex will be operated by oneROOF Youth Services and situated near public transportation and schools. With construction expected to be completed by spring 2022 residents of the complex will have access to counselling, employment services, educational opportunities and life skills training.
“Our government’s Social Services Relief Fund is helping to address urgent housing and homelessness needs in communities across Ontario,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By investing $3.5 million in Kitchener, we are supporting local innovative housing solutions to keep vulnerable youth in our communities safe and housed, which is critical as Ontario enters a period of economic recovery.”
As highlighted in Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, today’s announcement is part of the province’s Social Services Relief Fund, through which the province has invested over $1 billion during COVID-19 to help municipalities and Indigenous program partners create longer-term housing solutions and support vulnerable Ontarians, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“We are so incredibly thankful to the government for recognizing the need for a youth-specific housing project,” Said Sandy Dietrich-Bell, CEO of OneROOF Youth Services. “For too long, youth have been struggling on the streets, and this new build will go a long way in eradicating youth homelessness in Waterloo Region.”
“Thank you to MPP Harris and the provincial government for today’s announcement,” Said Chair Karen Redman, Region of Waterloo. “Partners like OneRoof are critical to creating affordable housing and supporting youth across our community. These investments are essential to helping the Region of Waterloo deliver on our affordable housing plan, Building Better Futures: 2,500 Homes in 5 Years.”
“Housing is a human right, and the City of Kitchener is committed to doing our part by working with all orders of government and community partners to deliver on that,” said City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “We are extremely grateful for the Province’s significant investment in oneROOF housing which will support at-risk youth because we know that early investments in young people with uncertain housing situations, experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, or living in temporary shelters often results in a lifetime of positive health and social outcomes for them as they go through life.”
- The Regional Municipality of Waterloo has been allocated over $35 million through Ontario’s Social Services Relief Fund which is designed to help municipalities and Indigenous program partners deliver critical services such as shelters, food banks, funding for rental arrears and housing. The Social Services Relief Fund is funded in part through the joint federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement.
- In 2020-21, the City of Kitchener was also allocated over $15.5 million through the joint federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement and over $4.8 million in provincial COVID-19 financial relief funding for municipalities to help address ongoing COVID-19 operating costs, ensure the delivery of critical services and keep capital projects on track.
- Under Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario has announced $525 million in new annualized funding for mental health and addictions support since 2019-20. This includes $175 million for more mental health and addictions services and supports in 2021-2022 committed through the 2021 Budget, $176 million invested in October 2020 and new funding of $174 million invested in 2019-20.
Minister Clark’s Office
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Office of MPP Mike Harris