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New housing facility aims to help at-risk youth

Windsor City Hall in Windsor, Ont., on Monday, Oct. 16, 2018. (Rich Garton / CTV Windsor) Windsor City Hall in Windsor, Ont., on Monday, Oct. 16, 2018. (Rich Garton / CTV Windsor)

At-risk young individuals facing housing security and homelessness in Windsor will now have a new place to go for support.

With funding from three levels of government, a partnership between the City of Windsor, Public Safety Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC) and the Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society (WECAS) has led to the creation of a youth supportive housing complex with dedicated life skills programming.

The housing complex created by the CHC supports up to 15 individuals between the ages of 18 and 23 transitioning out of the child welfare system and into adulthood.

“Through this new partnership, we are proud to offer a safe haven for young people facing homelessness and housing insecurity. Our new youth supportive housing complex will provide not just shelter, but a beautiful, modern home where these youth can gain the life skills needed to embark on a successful journey forward,” said Cynthia Summers, CEO of Windsor Essex CHC.

More than $2 million of the funding comes from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). The RHI was launched in 2020 to help address urgent housing needs through the rapid construction of affordable housing. The Windsor-Essex CHC was able to build a modern home for youth as a result of this funding.

“The project’s starting point addresses housing insecurity for those youth between 18-23 who are transitioning from CAS care into independence and then goes well beyond by offering programming that builds the skillsets, networks and self-care practices needed to thrive in independence,” said Derrick Drouillard, executive director of Windsor-Essex CAS.

Public Safety Canada also contributed funding to the project through the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF). The objective of the BSCF is to support municipalities and Indigenous communities in their efforts to address gun and gang prevalence through community-led projects.

Funded exclusively through the BSCF, WECAS will implement new programming at the location, including life skills development on topics such as home management and tenancy, financial literacy and budgeting, and self care; peer engagement and leadership opportunities; prevention strategies for negative peer or gang involvement; and finally, community engagement and career exploration.

The programming will be supported by community partners New Beginnings, local experts in risk intervention and prevention techniques, to promote community safety and prevent gun and gang violence.

The new facility is expected to be ready to accept individuals beginning in June of 2024. Top Stories

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