Work Begins on New Refugee Housing Centre in Windsor

Work has begun to renovate a new home for the Matthew House Refugee Centre in Windsor.

Currently, the centre which provides transitional housing for refugees consists of a three-room home located on Drouillard Rd, but it is now leasing out the vacant  ALPHA apartment at 3185 Forest Glade Dr. to convert them to 12 rooms, plus 11 transitional affordable apartments.

The ALPHA apartment has been vacant for about six years.

Centre Executive Director Mike Morency says structurally the building is safe, it just needs cosmetic work such as drywall, changing light fixtures and flooring.

Some refugees who can't find housing end up in homeless shelters and Morency says they deserve better.

"The men, women and children who have come to Canada fleeing violence and war, for them to get the fresh start and quickly get their feet under them, that's really the worst place for them to be."

Morency hopes the work will be done in about a month.


Location for the new Matthew House Refugee Centre at 3185 Forest Glade Dr. April 4, 2019 (Photo by AM800's Teresinha Medeiros)

Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex is helping out and Executive Director Fiona Coughlin says this is about changing lives.

"These people are heroes, they have rescued their children from countries all over the world and brought them to Canada for a safe place to live," she says.

In the past year and a half, Matthew House Refugee Centre on Drouillard Rd.  has turned away 350 men, women and children.

Morency estimates it needs $60,000 to $100,000 in materials and labour to do the work and he is hoping for donations and volunteers.