Halton Lighthouse Shelter Expansion Nearing Completion

by chrismcgregor
Categories: Divisional News

Permanent housing is one step closer to reality for more clients at an expanded Salvation Army Halton Lighthouse Shelter in Oakville.

Construction is expected to wrap up by mid-August on a $1.4 million expansion that adds 10 new shelter rooms, bringing the total capacity to 40 people. The mix of three single and seven double rooms provides more versatile housing configurations at the shelter.

The addition includes a fully accessible washroom and barrier free shower, kitchenette and lounge, free laundry facilities, bright and spacious bedrooms, and two new offices. The beds, which came from The Salvation Army Florence Booth House Shelter in Toronto, can be set up as single beds or bunks.  Site improvements include sidewalks, new landscaping, and upgrades to outdoor seating areas. There is still plenty of green space available for a future community garden or recreational sports.

“This shelter has been designed to serve multiple demographics as society changes. Clients are being served  in a different way to better meet their personal needs,” said James Moulton, Executive Director of Hamilton Halton Brantford Housing and Support Services for The Salvation Army.

Bringing additional beds under the same roof means clients receive more timely and consistent care for mental health and addictions, spiritual care, and preparation for housing outside the shelter system.

Having clients living off-site in hotels during the pandemic made it more challenging for caseworkers to meet their clients’ individual needs, as it took away the power of observation and ability to have regular quick conversations to ensure someone is doing well.

“Instead of setting up multiple appointments to see clients in hotels, having everyone here on site makes it easier to provide supports and to connect with staff,” said Kayla Roberts, Program Supervisor at Halton Lighthouse.

“We are better positioned now that if there is another pandemic outbreak there will be a minimal requirement to use hotel stays. And clients’ outcomes are improved where support exists, which is more difficult in hotels,” James explained.

Expansion of Halton Lighthouse Shelter was funded by The Salvation Army, the Government of Ontario, and a generous anonymous donor who provided $500,000 toward the project.