Published on May 3, 2022 by Kenora Online

Construction has begun on a 30-unit supportive housing unit in the Evergreen area of Kenora, one of the many housing builds planned for the community in 2022.

The $4.5 million 30-unit supportive housing facility is expected to be developed on a 0.6-hectare parcel of land beside the Private David Kejick DCM Armouries, which was renamed in 2018 in honour of the World War 1 veteran and former Shoal Lake First Nation Chief, with frontage on 661 Ninth Street North.

The project is a partnership between the Kenora District Services Board and Ontario’s Aboriginal Housing Services. OAHS is expected to develop and build the facility, while the KDSB will provide social supports and staff. Construction was supposed to begin in 2020 but was delayed.

The facility aims to provide supportive housing for people transitioning away from homelessness with a variety of support services and is expected to be staffed 24-hours a day. The development of the project was modelled after a similar transitional housing facility in Sioux Lookout.

“We have to really look at, what is supportive housing? That depends on the challenge and the shortage that we’re looking to address,” explains Chief Administrative Officer for the Kenora District Services Board, Henry Wall.

“It’s well-documented that there’s a need in the community for housing with supports. While housing is incredibly important, it’s not the solution to the challenge at hand,” he says.

“It’s critical to provide essential supports, both social and programming, to ensure that we do more than just allow people to survive, but to actually thrive. Through housing with appropriate supports, the objective really is about social inclusion and economic rehabilitation,” Wall adds.

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