Community Project in North Simcoe
In May of 2017 Bayshore Property Management Inc. engaged with Shelter Now in an attempt to divert what could have been an acute housing crisis in North Simcoe. A property located in Penetanguishene had gone into receivership and was\is in need of extraordinary renovation and pest extermination. It was identified that of this 29 unit building, 18 occupied units were in great need of assistance. Without this intervention all of these tenants would have been at risk of homelessness. Tenants of this building are some of North Simcoe’s hardest to house suffering from a number of ailments that include mental health, substance abuse and considerable physical disability. Through working with the new property manager and offering support to the residents housing retention was successful.
What we did:
Service organizations, local businesses and volunteers of North Simcoe came together through pooling our resources, and spent several weeks advocating and assisting residents. Shelter Now accepted the responsibility to lead the project through the coordination of logistics and hands on support. The project would see that residents would have to vacate and prepare their dwellings for treatments. To start this project, agencies came together to allocate staff and resources to this project, plan dates to work together and coordinate services.
How we did it:
Onsite laundry facilities were installed, the support team spent several weeks assisting residents to clean, bag and store all of their belongings in preparation for a full building bedbug treatment. Several large dumpsters were filled with clutter, and old furniture. Support Staff from Shelter Now, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, The Guest House Shelter, Community Reach, and Wendat Community Programs provided direct support to each resident to ensure compliance. Many other Agencies and local businesses supported this endeavour via monetary donations and in-kind resources.
Residents were all asked to vacate their units on June 28th 2017 for the day while the building underwent a $12,000 bedbug treatment paid for by the landlord. The residents were provided with a BBQ lunch while they waited in their parking lot for their new beds to arrive. Upon re-entry to the building The Support Team of this Community Project delivered new beds and household items to each of the residents. Each resident was provided with:
Our most recent calculations have indicated that this project has cost roughly fifty eight hundred dollars; totalling roughly three hundred and twenty five dollars per head. We have concluded that through working collaboratively with local service organizations, businesses, landlords and residents, this has been a very successful housing intervention that has greatly improved the quality of life and access to clean and affordable housing; while also supporting a landlord with a problem that could not have been addressed without support to the tenants.
Moving forward, many of our local agencies currently have clients residing in this building, it has also been expressed by the North Simcoe Chapter of Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness, that it is important that we stay engaged with tenants of this residence. Follow up with tenants and the quality of housing will be a priority. This building currently has vacant apartments; we will be working with Bayshore Property Management over the next few months to assist in filling these vacancies.
We would like to thank the County of Simcoe and the community as a whole for such generous contributions. It was a community pulling together that really helped this project take shape and secure our success.
Sonia Ladouceur, Team Lead
Executive Director, Shelter Now
Testimonials from tenants:
"Thank you! It's so nice that people care about us."
"I love my new bed, I slept like a baby."
"I'm so happy to have the clutter out of my apartment, thanks for helping me."
"This was so nice of everyone to help us, don't worry I'll pay it forward."