Supportive Housing for Adults

Many people think of homelessness as those living on the streets, in parks, in doorways and in other public places.  However, the “hidden homeless” – an estimated 80% of those without a place to call home – are much less visible.  Consider the person who moves from friend to friend and relative to relative while seeking affordable housing.  Or the woman who accepts housing from a man, even in dangerous situations, rather than be on the street.  This is a reality for many living in our community with adults couch surfing, sleeping in vehicles and sleeping rough.  Homelessness is multi-dimensional, and many studies identify several intersecting factors such as: poverty, domestic violence, immigration, addiction, mental health and intergenerational trauma, particularly affecting Indigenous people.  During a 2019 Period Prevalence Count 159 people were identified in St. Thomas-Elgin County as experiencing homelessness.

Because of this, the YWCA has been providing safe and affordable housing since 1928. Our adult residences include: Second Story (ages 18+) and Women’s Residence (ages 16+)

What does the program offer?

  • A place to call home, private bedrooms
  • Communal living spaces (bathroom, kitchen, & two comfortable living rooms)
  • An onsite Resident Advisor & peer support
  • Emergency food & toiletries are available as needed
  • In-house programs including tutoring, literacy, computer training and life skills workshops  
  • Housing-based case management, focusing on individualized service plans, & strengths-based approaches
  • System navigation & service referrals

We’re here to help

Women (16+ years old)

Women’s homelessness is often invisible and complex.  Without a roof over their heads and a door to lock safely behind them, women are at risk of physical, emotional and psychological harm.

Established in 1928, YWCA Women’s Residence in downtown St. Thomas is a warm and inviting 21 bed facility that provides, transitional and long-term housing for women from all parts of Elgin County.

Who is Eligible for this program?

Our demographics range in age from young individuals who identify as female or non-binary (minimum age 16) to those in their senior years and from all walks of life. Individuals must be open to living communally, and in a community atmosphere.

Learn about our Supportive Housing for Youth.

Men (18+ years old)
Men come to the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin from all walks of life with the common need of stability and affordable living. Many male residents struggle with poverty, mental health, disabilities, substance use and relationship breakdown.   

Establish in 2010, Second Story in downtown St. Thomas is a communal residence with 7 private bedrooms that provides transitional and long-term housing for men from all parts of Elgin County.

Who is Eligible for this program?

Our demographics range in age from young individuals who identify as male or non-binary (minimum age 18) to those in their senior years. Individuals must be open to living communally, and in a community atmosphere.

Learn about our Supportive Housing for Youth.

Homeless Enumeration Report

A summary of the insights gained about the scope and prevalence of homelessness throughout the City and the County.

Women's Homelessness Survey

Data collection with surveys and focus groups in an effort to better understand the realities of women experiencing homelessness in our community.

Lisa’s journey

A reflection of the Housing Supports offered through the YWCA.  Struggling with generational poverty, abuse and addictions, at age 48 Lisa was referred to the YWCA St. Thomas Elgin by her continuing education teacher. Lisa was trying to make changes in an environment...

Natalie’s journey

The YWCA gave me the opportunity to start over and choose a better life.

How do I apply?

Fill in the form below to start our intake process or call (519) 631-9800 extension 237 to book an appointment with our Youth/Women’s Homelessness Systems Developer.

Please note inquiries will be reviewed within 3-4 business days.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation or are in immediate risk of being homeless please phone our main office during regular business hours (519) 631-9800 or call 2-1-1 for emergency services within your area.

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