A city staff report released Wednesday shows proposed locations for homeless centers in London, Ont., as well as the agencies that operate them.
Three of the centers are expected to open in December and two are planned for May 2024. The centers will provide 24/7 services to people experiencing homelessness, with the goal of giving someone a bed during the transition to a more permanent housing.
Two of the hubs will be operated by Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), two by the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services (CMHA) and one by Atlohsa Family Healing Services.
“These hubs get people off the streets while providing a direct pathway into supportive housing,” London Mayor Josh Morgan said in a statement.
“This is not just an investment in helping marginalized and homeless Londoners. This is an investment in public safety, economic development, hospitals, ground ambulances, downtown revitalization, neighborhoods and the enjoyment of public spaces.
The first hubs will focus on priority populations of Indigenous peoples, youth and people who identify as women, while future hubs will focus on other priority groups of couples and medically complex individuals.
Atlohsa proposed a hub at 550 Wellington Road. at Parkwood Hospital, Building J, which will focus on the Indigenous priority group. The proposed hub would bring existing space that Atlohsa leases in Parkwood up to the standards set by the Hubs Implementation Plan. The center will have 18 transitional beds and 10 respite beds, for a total annual operating cost of $2,118,146.
YOU’s proposal would include nine transitional beds for young people at risk of homelessness, located at Victoria Hospital. Renovations to the hospital will not be completed until May 2024, so six additional breakout spaces will be added to YOU’s existing youth shelter by December. The operating costs of the YOU hubs are estimated at $1,317,500 for the first year and $1,983,800 for the second.
In fashion now
Finally, ACSM proposed a multisite hub focused on women and people who identify as women. Ten respite beds would be located at 556 Dundas Street, across from London Police Headquarters, and another 20 transitional beds at the Lighthouse Inn, 704 Fanshawe Park Rd. W. The respite spaces will open in December, while that transitional beds will be available in May 2024 as the space needs to be rezoned. Total annual costs for the two centers are estimated at $4,116,475.
“These candidates have considerable expertise,” said Kevin Dickins, the city’s deputy director of social health and development. “Having experts with strong relationships and great credibility come to the table the way they do is really great to see as a community, we should be optimistic, we should have a sense that change is coming.” »
Funding for capital costs will be sought through the Ontario Homelessness Prevention Program, Change Fund and Housing Stability Services budgets, as well as recently acquired federal funding under of the Housing Acceleration Fund.
Proposals go to the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee on September 25, then to the full council for final approval on October 5.
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