“What we presented was options to help fill the gap for Indigenous youth housing in Thunder Bay,” Justin Marchand, told CBC News.
Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) is looking for a partnership with the City of Thunder Bay, and, ideally a plot of land — either donated or offered at a reduced price — to, initially, build 20 one-bedroom supportive housing units.
OAHS received approval from our Independent Proposal Review Committee as well as our Board of Directors to proceed with the construction and development of 20 supportive housing units to serve the needs of Indigenous Youth living in Thunder Bay.
While the proposed housing units would be for Indigenous youth — “an identified high-risk group,” Marchand said — adding to the city’s housing stock will have benefits across the city.
“Development of additional housing, regardless of who it’s serving, will help reduce the wait lists for all people.”
Marchand said he’d like to see a multi-phase approach if the initial build goes well. He added that, should the city ultimately give the go-ahead to the project, construction could start by spring, 2019.
Daneen Dénommé, Director of Policy and Programs and Cathy Connor, Programs Manager also attended the June 4th, 2018 City Council meeting. The business case, consolidated by Cathy, included Point-in-Time data from the 2016 Homelessness count as well as report excerpts, including data and analysis, from another one of OAHS’ partners, the Kenora District Services Board with whom Daneen has worked very closely with in this particular area.
The picture also includes Charlene Baglien, Executive Director of the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre