THUNDER BAY — The Ontario government is putting over $2.9 million in seven projects to help build and renovate 98 supportive housing units in the Thunder Bay area.
The funding is being delivered through the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) and will provide wraparound services for racialized groups and individuals who are homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness during COVID-19.
“Our government is providing immediate housing and homelessness program relief in communities across northern Ontario,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By investing $2.9 million in the Thunder Bay area, we continue to support local innovative housing solutions to protect our most vulnerable in every corner of our province.”
The funding allocations are as follows:
- Matawa Training and Wellness Centre – $1.14 million to renovate six units and a community kitchen and food pantry area.
- Dilico Anishinabek Family Care – $800,000 to create a new facility with eight units.
- Matawa Family Crisis Shelter – $438,300 to renovate six units.
- Grace Place – $231,000 to renovate 10 units and purchase new windows, doors and a new HVAC system in the kitchen area.
- The Urban Abbey – $195,000 to renovate the shelter and increase capacity from four to 10 units. Work also includes upgrading the heating system and addressing roofing issues.
- Marjorie House – $77,000 to renovate 10 units and expand the shelter entrance to create a space for client belongings.
- John Howard Society – $52,000 to renovate a 48-unit complex. Work includes the installation of a contactless entry system and upgrades to a common space.
“We know that when our communities’ most vulnerable have access to housing and a full suite of social services, they have a greater ability to lift themselves out of poverty, and eventually find employment,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Our government has listened and will continue to listen to Indigenous leaders who have called for expanded access to housing and social services, and we are proud of the work that we’ve done to date and look forward to continuing down a path of prosperity.”
As highlighted in Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, this funding is part of the province’s Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF), through which the province has invested over $1 billion during COVID-19 as one of the biggest investments in affordable housing and homelessness prevention in Ontario’s history.
“I want to thank the provincial government for the support they are providing through the Social Services Relief Fund to seven key Thunder Bay Projects,” said Bill Mauro, Mayor, City of Thunder Bay. “The investments being made in the organizations in our city are integral in allowing them to house and support some of our most vulnerable residents. I also want to thank the organizations receiving the funding for their ongoing advocacy and support of people living in our city. The work they do can often be life saving, and life changing, and helps us continue to build a healthy and vibrant community.”
“The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board provides essential social services that have been a saving grace for many in our district before and during this pandemic,” said Lucy Kloosterhuis, Chair, The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board. “We are grateful for the SSRF capital funding from the government of Ontario, especially as it allows us to address gaps in the system that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”