Tiny homes with a BIG vision
Sanctuary Homes, YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin and Doug Tarry Limited (DTL) have come together as local St. Thomas-Elgin organizations to work collaboratively with shared interests related to affordable housing in St. Thomas. Project Tiny Hope’s vision is that all members of the community have access to safe, affordable, clean, and sustainable housing. Tiny Hope seeks to develop this housing through a combination of building tiny homes and low rise apartment units while creating community and advancing public and private partnerships.
WHO WE ARE
The YWCA has been operating in Elgin County since 1902. In 1928 the YWCA began construction of a permanent home at the corner of Mary and Curtis Street and with the new building came the Women’s Residence Program. The YWCA invests in community partnerships and innovative strategies to end youth and adult homelessness including the operation of 4 youth homes, 2 adult residences and providing all residents with intensive case management. As a leader in housing-based case management the YWCA has taken the lead role in the development and implementation of the St. Thomas-Elgin Youth Homelessness Protocol and is leading the way on a community development project focused on ending women’s homelessness.
SANCTUARY HOMES was established in 2014 by a group of concerned Elgin County citizens who were and remain interested in addressing issues of poverty, homelessness, and adequate housing. As a local, not for profit, faith-based group they strive to provide affordable, safe housing in a supportive community environment with appropriate community resources to improve and sustain the wellbeing of marginalized populations.
DOUG TARRY LIMITED (DTL) has been providing housing to individuals and families in St. Thomas since 1954. DTL has spearheaded several philanthropic ventures in an effort to give back to the community and beyond such as the St. Thomas Elevated Park, The Angus McKenzie Trail and Project Hope which is highlighted in this video. DTL recognizes the state of urgency to provide residents of St. Thomas-Elgin area with more affordable housing options. As a recognized leader in the building industry and a member of several provincial and national decision making tables DTL provides expertise, knowledge and innovation.
The creation of a Tiny Hope community will be inclusive to diverse populations including youth and adults from all walks of life. Tiny Hope will include a series of tiny homes and a multi-unit residential apartment. Tiny homes will be built in ranch and loft styles to accommodate individuals or small families. Each home is equipped with a fully operational kitchen, washroom and living area. The tiny home model, built to Net Zero Ready standard, provides a comfortable living space that is safe, secure and private for individuals and small families. A large portion of affordable housing is often in a communal setting. This model works for some individuals, but not all. As such, Tiny Hope aims to provide more individual, affordable housing to meet the needs of a diverse population to improve their well being and opportunity to thrive. The multi-unit apartment building will provide approximately 20 units comprised of 1 and 2 bedroom units. A portion of units will be offered at deeply affordable rental rates. The main floor of the apartment building will include a large community space for residents to build relationships and gather. In addition, meeting rooms will be available for case management and support services for community partners and service providers to access for client meetings. Events and activities will be offered to build relationships and create a sense of community such as gardening, BBQs, recreation, and leisure activities. Tiny Hope is a community collaborative of local partners invested in reducing homelessness and creating innovative solutions at a local level. As organizations who each bring a different expertise to the table, we share a common vision that with housing and supports tailored to the needs of an individual we can reduce experiences of homelessness and improve housing stability for marginalized populations.
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SERVICES AND SUPPORT
Residents of Tiny Hope will come from all walks of life and as such, those who may require case management will be supported by their existing support services or if needed, introduced to a YWCA Housing Based Case Manager with a focus on housing stability and personal well-being. In addition to intensive case management, the YWCA will offer system navigation, life skill development, community building events and opportunities to participate in other YWCA programs such as: adult education, youth in transition, poverty prevention programming, and food security initiatives.
How to Donate
In-person: YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin during regular business hours. During COVID restrictions please call ahead to book an appointment.
By mail: cheque payable to YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin, 16 Mary Street West, St.Thomas, ON, N5P 2S3
WHY THIS PROJECT IS IMPORTANT
Homelessness is complicated in nature and has long term effects on health and wellbeing. With increasing rental rates and limited housing stock, many individuals and families find themselves living in substandard conditions and are forced to make critical choices between paying for food or paying for rent. Because of this, our community desperately needs to create supportive housing options that are safe and affordable. With the provision of housing based case management supports and stable housing, vulnerable people have a foundation to build upon as they work towards economic security, wellness and community connectedness.
On any given night 100 youth in St. Thomas-Elgin experience homelessness. (Org Code Consulting 2013) Youth Homelessness is often invisible, as youth rely on couch surfing and staying with different friends or family night to night. The YWCA is dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness for youth ages 16 to 24. We support youth with family reunification and gaining housing as quickly as possible to minimize their length of time experiencing homelessness given the negative impacts it has on a young person’s life. Our Housing Based Case Managers offer professional services to youth within YWCA housing along with youth sleeping rough, accessing shelter, living with family, or living independently. We understand that youth experience homelessness differently than adults and because of this they we offer unique supports that are developmentally appropriate and empowering.
Youth in St.Thomas-Elgin experience homelessness on any given night
How can you be involved?
We are thrilled to be contributing to the growth of essential housing stock in our community and building on our housing stability services! Tiny Hope will be a turning point program for the youth, adults and families who reside with us and together we will create opportunity for wellbeing and stability.
If you wish to speak to us about this project and learn how you or your group can help, you are welcome to complete the form below or call (519) 631-9800.
Please note inquiries will be reviewed within 3-4 business days.