Cornwall unveils "Winter Housing Plan" for moving homeless encampment residents
The City of Cornwall has announced that they leased the former Parisien Manor to provide housing to residents living in encampments and/or on the homelessness waitlist during the winter months.
"The establishment of our winter plan initiative at Parisien Manor represents months of behind-the-scenes work focused on the establishment of a safe and secure location for the most vulnerable in our community," said Mayor Justin Towndale. "This facility will ensure that those who are in need will get the support that they need and provide a transition to more permanent housing, including at our Massey Place location."
The City of Cornwall says they have been diligently working on securing a location for temporary housing for several months now. Once Parisien Manor was identified as the location, the City of Cornwall explained they had to work with the owners to ensure compliance with building life safety regulations and for the City to develop its operational plan for the housing initiative.
"This initiative is a result of the weeks of detailed planning by both the City of Cornwall Housing Staff and the United Way," said Mellissa Morgan, General Manager of Human Services and Long-Term Care. "This collaboration is a good example of how a community can work together to help solve complex housing issues within our City."
The City explains the process, saying steps have already been taken to relocate some of the residents of the homeless encampments to permanent housing. Residents still living in encampments and residents who joined the By-Name List will be prioritized for room space at the temporary winter site.
This announcement came a week after a woman died at a Cornwall park when she had no place to sleep.
Within the Parisien Manor, several local agencies will be providing a wide range of services to residents, including addiction services, mental health support, help with personal needs and permanent housing solutions. The facility would provide up to 20 single rooms with a bathroom and shower.
The lease signed by the City of Cornwall is for approximately seven months. Officials say during this time, Housing Services staff will work to secure permanent housing for residents housed through the Stepping Stone Project.
While planning the project, they say security is paramount for both residents and employees. As such, the property will be monitored by security officers and security cameras. The City of Cornwall also asks that residents refrain from bringing donations to the site. Rather, they urge citizens to make donations to the United Way of SDG.
Since the summer, Housing Services staff have been working closely on the evolving reality of homelessness to provide support to its residents. The Housing Services Department tries to ensure a coordinated response and housing fairness for the City’s homeless population through a homelessness enumeration (By-Name List).
To refer someone to the By-Name list, please contact the Housing Office at 613-933-6282. For more information, visit http://www.Cornwall.ca/enumeration.
With files by CFRA's Connor Ray