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New rapid rehousing program in Collingwood aims to reduce homelessness


Simcoe County's supportive rapid rehousing program is expanding to Collingwood to provide housing, support, and services to people experiencing homelessness and to help them find permanent housing.

"We're referring people from the shelter systems who are chronically homeless, who are mid to low acuity, meaning that they're probably ready and able to live independently. They just need some focused case management," said Simcoe County Social and Community Services general manager Mina Fayez-Bahgat.

The County believes this program will help take pressure off local shelters.

"The rapid rehousing program usually operates between 120 to 180 days, so the idea is it's ending chronic homelessness every 120 for a cohort of people," Fayez-Bahgat explained.

"I don't think our community is any different than any other town in Canada. For so many reasons, we've all seen an increase in homelessness, but I love this concept of the rapid rehousing," said Collingwood Mayor Yvonne Hamlin.

The County and the Town of Collingwood are partnering with the Common Roof, home to six community-based non-profit organizations.

"Being that we have been in Collingwood since 2019 and have about four acres of property along with our service hub, it resonated with us in terms of how can we use our property for community benefit," said The Common Roof president and CEO James Thomson.

A modular, pre-built housing structure will be placed on the property. The program will be able to house 10 to 15 people at a time.

"We utilized some federal funding to secure this program. As well as the other modular facilities and some of our provincial funding, so the cost is about $1.1 million," noted Fayez-Bahgat.

The County says it expects the modular building to arrive from the West Coast in the next few weeks, and for the program to be up and running in July. Top Stories

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