Bellevue Project receives $1.2 million for supportive housing for youth

GUELPH – Wyndham House, an agency that provides supportive housing for youth, has received $1.2 million from the federal and provincial governments for an expansion at the youth centred Bellevue supportive housing project in Guelph.

The Bellevue Project, located on Bellevue Street, will be renovated to include:
– eight independent POD living spaces (bachelor-type units);
– shared common space;
– a large communal kitchen;
– open communal areas for meals, recreation, celebrations and holidays; and
– private spaces for health care, one-to-one meetings and staff rooms.

Support services, such as case management supports, mental health services and life skills acquisition will be available on-site 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.

“We know that youth in a housing crisis need a very different approach from adults,” said Wyndham House executive directly Debbie Bentley-Lauzon.

“We also know that youth need prevention services to ensure they do not languish in homelessness then simply ‘age up’ into the adult system.”

Bentley-Lauzon said the goal of the agency is to prevent youth from entering the shelter system in the first place.

“That may mean diversion via family reunification, a stay at a friend’s home with added supports and when those options are not available we need an effective place for transitional aged youth to call home,” she said.

“Through this renovation, we will effectively shift our current model away from the old group home and congregant setting to provide a much needed and innovative supportive housing model for youth age 16 to 25 years. Each youth will now truly have a private space to call their own.”

In a statement, Wyndham House says it is grateful to the federal and provicial governments for the funding, and to Wellington County for its support.

“This Youth Centered Bellevue Supportive Housing Program is an acknowledged key piece of the puzzle for eliminating homelessness within our community by 2023,” the statement reads.

Wyndham House works to prevent, reduce, and end youth homelessness through the provision of case management, housing, and clinical supports for youth with a variety of needs and complexities since 1973.

Wyndham House programs include two permanent supportive housing programs, an emergency shelter, a housing stability outreach team, an integrated youth service hub and a care and treatment day program.

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