Guelph, Ont., – Mayor Cam Guthrie’s Task Force on Supportive Housing convened to reflect on significant progress on supportive housing projects, and to discuss the next phase of local advocacy for operating funding.
Task Force members heard that construction is underway or imminent for three supportive housing projects that will collectively add 72 units in Guelph: Grace Gardens on Woolwich Street, Wyndham House’s Bellevue project, and Kindle Communities’ project on Shelldale Crescent. Another 28 units would be built at a proposed transitional housing project at 65 Delhi Street, which was approved by Guelph City Council but is currently under appeal at the Ontario Land Tribunal.
The United Way of Guelph Wellington Dufferin and the Guelph Community Foundation have launched the Home for Good fundraising campaign to raise funds for capital costs, maintenance, and future opportunities.
“This is an incredible amount of progress, and it will help us reduce the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness in our community by 50 per cent. This is the result of collaboration across many service providers and agencies, and all levels of government,” said Mayor Guthrie. “The Task Force plans to bring that same spirit of collaboration to continued advocacy, particularly for the operating dollars to fund the supports people need to be successful.”
The Task Force agreed that there is an urgent need for health, mental health, addictions, and other supports in the downtown core and throughout the city. A new strategic advisory group will focus on these issues, including coordinating an advocacy effort for Provincial funding and promoting local actions.
It also supported and echoed the Ontario Big City Mayors’ request to Premier Doug Ford for an emergency meeting to address the chronic homelessness, mental health, safety, and addictions crisis.
“These issues are having a devastating impact on our most marginalized and vulnerable citizens, as well as on local businesses and our communities as a whole,” said Mayor Guthrie. “As a society, we need to step up and fund supports that are urgently needed to protect people from falling through the cracks of our health care, mental health, and housing systems.”
An update on supportive housing progress, challenges and goals will be presented at a future meeting of Guelph City Council.
Mayor Cam Guthrie