Published by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on August 28, 2023

Thunder Bay — 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 funding was announced by Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Kevin Holland, Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay – Atikokan.

“Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) is honoured to be a part of this development and being part of a shared commitment in fostering a brighter future for Indigenous youth. This endeavor not only embodies a physical space, but a profound promise of empowerment, growth, and resilience. This development will be a beacon of hope, echoing the resounding belief that together, we can cultivate lasting, positive change.” – Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Board Chair of the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services

“We are grateful for the support of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to enable to Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre to provide safe and welcoming home to Indigenous youth who are at risk of homelessness. Our vision is to help our youth heal by sharing traditional and cultural healing practices, and by providing life-journey supports that align with the Seven Grandfather Teachings. We are excited to work within our community, and with our partners to provide health and wellness services that look after our mind, body, and spirit, and enrich all our lives. Chi-Miigwetch!” – Charlene Baglien, Executive Director, Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre

“Today’s announcement is a significant step towards compassion, understanding, and empowerment for Indigenous youth at risk of homelessness. The Junot Avenue Indigenous Youth Transition House Project will serve vulnerable youth grappling with housing instability — who rightfully deserve a chance at recovery, healing, and a brighter future. Having the Métis Nation of Ontario play a role in this project alongside dedicated community partners fills me with pride and optimism for what we will be able to accomplish with the recognition of our self-government.” – Margaret Froh, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario

Click here to read more…

Photo taken by Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services

Left to right: Ken Boshcoff (Mayor of Thunder Bay), Justin Marchand, Charlene Baglien (Executive Director of Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre), MPP Kevin Holland for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, Margaret Froh (President of Métis Nation of Ontario), Katie Bortolin (Director of Housing, Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre), Grant Robbins (Senator, Thunder Bay and District Métis Council), Elder Gene Nowegejick,, The Honourable Steve Clark (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing), and Tina Bobinski (Senior Director of Community Development, Ontario Native Women’s Association)