New affordable housing complex set to welcome first tenants
Beatrice Vaisman, CTV Barrie
Published Saturday, April 13, 2019 7:46PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2019 11:13AM EDT
A new affordable housing complex is another step closer to being completed. Volunteers rolled up their sleeves on Saturday afternoon, putting the finishing touches on the twelve units the city’s most vulnerable will soon call home.
"I really have a heart for those people who are trying to make changes in their life,” said volunteer Jane Morrison, “so we just want to be a part of giving them a hand up and over the hump.”
It’s been eight months since crews with Redwood Park Communities – in partnership with the David Busby Centre – broke ground; spending $2.5 million to convert the old Barr’s Motel into affordable housing on Essa Road.
"The idea and the goal behind these units is that someone can stay as long as they want if they really feel that it's a sense of home for them," said Timothy Kent, Redwood Park Communities CEO.
For one of Barrie’s most vulnerable, having a roof over their head and a safe place to sleep, has been decades in the making.
"To see that he's been out there for twenty years and now be able to bring him into safe housing and wrap some supports around him and really just build community around him is outstanding," said Sara Peddle, David Busby Centre Executive Director.
Each bachelor-apartment style unit has been outfitted with a bed, full kitchen and bathroom.
The cost of living in one of the units will be heavily subsidized, with tenants required to pay approximately $350 a month.
The goal of the project is to create a sense of community and take a small step towards eliminating chronic homelessness.
"This isn't something that's like a two week 'okay great, you're fixed, move on,” said Peddle. “This is an empowerment model; this is self-driven. We're working with people one step at a time."
The David Busby Centre will handle intake for the units, and its staff is still in the process of filtering through applications, but priority will go to those most in need.
So far, four of the units are spoken for; with the first tenants expected to move in next week.