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With provincial funding, the City of Windsor will transform a motel into a new shelter for women and families in early 2022, partnering with the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women and Families. The organization provides short-term emergency shelter and transitional supports to women and families with minors who are experiencing homelessness.
“Establishing a dedicated emergency shelter for women and families was outlined as a key priority for our community through the City of Windsor’s 2020 Review of Emergency Shelter Services and, as a result of the contribution from the province, the City of Windsor will create a new, safe space for persons experiencing homelessness,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said at a news conference Oct. 1.
“In a year that has presented so many challenges for vulnerable populations, this partnership provides a meaningful example of what is possible when governments work together to find solutions that will make a real difference in the lives of people in our region.”
The city bought the building with $7.8-million from the provincial government’s Social Services Relief Fund.
“This is the first designated shelter for families in the region, and we are grateful for the provincial government’s investment to bring this long overdue initiative to fruition,” said City of Windsor Commissioner of Human and Health Services Jelena Payne.
Along with 23 beds for single women, the facility will include space for families and will accept pets in certain areas.
“This investment provides for a safe and supportive environment for women and families experiencing homelessness.”
Executive Director of the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women and Families, Lady Laforet, is optimistic the new location has many of the assets the centre was looking for to help the families they work with achieve successful outcomes.
Welcome Centre will enter into a Good Neighbour Agreement with surrounding residents and businesses in order to foster positive relationships. The agreement will help enhance neighbourhood safety and develop clear expectations and procedures for resolving concerns. It is also hoped that neighbours will build connections and working relationships with the Welcome Centre.