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Converting a motel into affordable housing units
Block by block and brick by brick. Hope is being built for some of Barrie’s homeless.
“It’s just really exciting to be part of a project that will have such a huge community impact,” said Redwood Park’s executive director, Tim Kent.
The $2.5 million project will transform the city’s old Barr's Motel into 12 affordable housing units with around the clock support services from the David Busby Centre.
“It’s a housing-first approach,” said Kent. “If we can get them into safe, secure housing and wrap them in support, then we’re going to see them stay successfully housed.”
Crews have been gutting the motel and upgrading the building’s structure since August.
There are also plans for the building next door to the motel to be converted into a second-stage addiction centre with five units.
The buildings will become home to 17 people who are deemed to be chronically homeless and will include a community space with a focus on building social skills.
“Depending on their circumstances, somebody could be here for a year or two, and somebody may be here for 10 years,” said Kent.
The city and Simcoe County are also partners along with Redwood Park Communities.
The county has an ambitious goal to create more than 26-hundred affordable housing units by 2024.
Several organizations, like The Kinsmen Club, have adopted units and are also helping with the build.
The plan is to have the first 12 units ready for people to move-in by mid-December, and the addiction centre units by 2019.