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Project Generosity helps with housing solution for vulnerable adults in Barrie

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The Camphill Foundation, which supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has a new home for two individuals in need thanks to a donation from former board member Terry Kirk, who bequeathed his estate to the foundation when he passed away last year.

"We tried actually before we inherited the home to get a mortgage to be able to purchase a home because we have a waitlist. Many agencies have waitlists. The waitlist in Ontario for supportive housing is actually 23 years long," said Camphill Foundation Executive Director Kathy Downes.

Camphill partnered with the Barrie Construction Association (BCA), which challenged its members to help renovate the house - an operation expected to cost $150,000, called Project Generosity.

The BCA is known for helping the community.

"Time and time again, when there's a call to action of need in our community, our members get together and do the right thing and help out who needs help," said BAC Executive Director Alison Smith.

The house will undergo a complete facelift, making it accessible for aging individuals who require support.

"It's going to get stripped down to bare bones. We need to do electrical, mechanical, the HVAC system, furnace, air conditioning," Smith noted.

"Without their assistance, we would probably be fundraising for years," added Downes.

The estate donation allowed the foundation to purchase another property in Barrie's Sophia Creek neighbourhood with a studio for daytime programming that provides a social and community connection for individuals with special needs and helps them avoid falling through the cracks.

Camphill Foundation purchased a house in Barrie to offer programs to vulnerable adults. (CTV News/Ian Duffy)

"Traditionally, they live with their parents well into their 40s, and sometimes, unfortunately, they may find themselves living in housing that's not suitable for them," Downes explained. "We really hope that Project Generosity becomes a living testament in this community of what can happen when you leave a legacy, and it can just transform someone's life."

The BCA asks its members who would like to be involved in the renovation of this donated home to consider providing their best pricing and/or gifts in kind, while individual donors are also welcome to contribute to Project Generosity.

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