A Place Called Home (APCH) is at a critical turning point.
Their 19-bed homeless shelter was already at 100 per cent capacity when the first wave of COVID-19 necessitated they move their clients into motel rooms.
Now the number of individuals in their care hovers around 50 people.
In recognizing their urgent need for change, and in light of their recently received funding through the provincial and municipal governments, APCH partnered with The Lindsay Advocate to host a virtual town hall last night to allow community members to participate in a discussion with shelter staff, directors and local poverty reduction advocates.
David Tilley, executive director of APCH offered background on the agency as well as the process that led them to move forward on the construction of a new emergency shelter.
This included sharing blueprints for the agency’s new shelter and explaining how the construction will help them achieve a housing continuum model.
Arguably the most impactful speech came from shelter manager, Nicole Bryant.
“Our once comfortable surroundings where staff and clients blended together as one big family, sharing meals, stories, troubles, and successes has taken an institutional feel,” said Bryant. “Staff is struggling to make connections and build rapport without the comfort and offerings that we can provide at the shelter.”
Bryant closed by stating her excitement for, “a…shelter that couples our new unique service delivery model with the new pandemic-proof facility; a perfect merriment of safety and the caring, supportive environment that A Place Called Home is known for.”
In closing, Zita Devan and Nancy Coffin, members of the APCH board of directors shared a variety of ways in which the community can support them both now and in the near future.
“The current board of directors and staff will be working hard to apply for other funding available through grants and private foundations but in many ways it’s like attempting to fix a car while it’s still moving; we still have to serve the homeless,” said Devan. “We need all hands on deck.”
At this time, the organization is accepting financial donations through Canada Helps to aid their current operations and their new build.
They are also seeking community members to join their New Futures, New Builds Committee.
The committee meets monthly via Zoom to share updates, opportunities, challenges and successes of APCH. The committee’s next meeting is Jan. 14 at 8 pm.
Early in the new year, APCH will be hosting two fundraising events. The first will take place in February and is an ice and snow sculpture competition.
The second will take place in March and is a polar golf tournament. The tournament will be similar to that of a mini golf course but with a fun spin. More details about each event will be shared by APCH in the coming weeks.
For more information or to join the New Futures, New Builds Committee, contact APCH at . To watch the full recording of the town hall event click here.