The Ontario government is providing $8.7 million through the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program (ISHP) to help create 58 transitional housing units for youth in Thunder Bay.
The new three-storey building, managed by the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre, has a total of 58 units and will offer transitional housing units for Indigenous youth. It includes single and pod style accommodations. Residents will be living and dining with a communal teaching kitchen. Participants will be supported with 24-hour youth workers and full-time case managers and services will include enhancement of community and relationship building, life skills development, employment, or education.
“The importance of this transitional housing project that will serve the youth of Thunder Bay and region cannot be overstated. We thank Minister Clark for this historic investment of 8.7 million dollars, Justin Marchand, CEO of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services for his vision and determination, The Metis Nation of Ontario and the Ontario Native Women’s association for the delivery of these vital trauma informed wrap around services,” said Thunder Bay Mayor Ken Boshcoff.
Through the Homelessness Prevention Program and Indigenous Supportive Housing Program, Service managers and Indigenous program administrators have the flexibility to allocate provincial funding to programs and services that address and prevent homelessness in their communities, such as rent supplements, homeless shelters, and supportive housing including capital projects.
The funding was announced by Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Kevin Holland, Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay – Atikokan.
“Our government is going to keep fighting to get shovels in the ground so all Ontarians can find a home that meets their unique needs,” said Clark. “I’m pleased to see this investment through the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program being put to work to create safe, accessible homes for youth in Thunder Bay, and I’d like to thank MPP Holland for his continued advocacy at Queen’s Park on behalf of his community.”
The Ontario government is investing an additional $202 million each year in provincial homelessness prevention programs, bringing Ontario’s total yearly investment to close to $700 million. This includes an increase of nearly $11 million through the Homelessness Prevention Program for Thunder Bay, for a total of $16.5 million annually. The province has increased annual funding for the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program by $11.5 million (or 38%) for a total of $41.5 million.