Groundbreaking for Redwood Park Communities and The Salvation Army

by Ontario Central East
Categories: Divisional News
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Salvation Army and Redwood Communities pierce the soil.

On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, under grey and rainy skies, shovels pierced the soil to signify a bright new future of short-term supportive  housing for families in Barrie, Ontario.

Redwood Park Communities, The Salvation Army Bayside Mission and The Salvation Army Barrie Citadel held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the kickoff of the joint Family Short-Term Supportive Housing project. The housing will be located at 151 Lilian Crescent, behind The Salvation Army church.

“Each time we do a housing project, I’m overwhelmed by the support of the people and businesses of Barrie, and this project has been no exception,” says Tim Kent, Redwood’s CEO. “The people in this city recognize the need for affordable housing, and I think there is a realization that it is more than a charitable donation, it is an investment in our community.”

 

The ceremony included celebratory comments from city officials, staff from The Salvation Army and Redwood Park Communities, along with key campaign donors.

“It’s a  very exciting day for us here in Barrie”, says Jeffrey Robertson, spokesperson for The Salvation Army. “We have officially turned the sod on this new project…and this new partnership.Joining forces with  Redwood Park Communities allows us to turn this community need into reality.”

Construction is expected to begin in June, with preliminary ground work, and is hoped to be completed in 18 months.  The two-storey building – featuring 12 fully-furnished two-bedroom apartments – is being built by Redwood Park Communities on Salvation Army-owned property.

“This facility will provide a short-term ‘home’ for  families in a supportive environment, helping them during a time of crisis,” says Robertson. “It will provide a place for children to play and laugh; a place to eat together and do homework.  It will be a family neighbourhood for families, and we are really excited about the possibilities for support.  It meets a real need in Barrie.”

The $3M housing project will provide urgent housing, while addressing the need of housing for families who have become homeless. The Salvation Army Bayside Mission will oversee the intake for families and provide formal case management and programming, while Redwood Park will care for the building, while offering supports through its Family Support Team, a team that currently supports the residents within their other 34 affordable housing units throughout the city.

“The next 18 months will see the dream come to fruition,” says Robertson. “We are grateful for Redwood Park,   the Bayside Mission, and The Salvation Army church family who, together, will help create a ‘family’ to those calling this community home.”