Volume 2, Issue 2: October 2009
"Kay’shi’daay’ing—Where We Live."
Ralph Page, Co-Chair, Treasurer
Karen Essery, Secretary
Don Denver, Emily Goss, Dan Jorgensen, Pieter Joubert, Shirley Kelly, Frank Kowal, Erika Olson, Diane Pelletier, Joan Schelske
What is Making Kenora HOME?
A concerned group working on solutions for homelessness in our community.
- EQUALITY: We are all created equal within this world that we share
- INCLUSION: Every person living in Kenora is a part of our community
- SHARING: As a community we must care for each other
- SELF DETERMINATION: Each person has the right to choose his or her own path providing that path does not hurt another
- EMPOWERMENT: We are accountable for our own actions and need to look inward first before looking outward for change
How do we achieve this?
- Community education and awareness about homelessness and poverty
- Promoting the implementation of our May 2007 report Community Solutions For Affordable Housing Projects
- Community caring projects to address poverty.
Why is Making Kenora HOME important to us?
- Stable housing is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty
- Kenora will become a more inclusive and caring community.
The Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) has received approval to proceed with the Take up Plan for 2009-2010 under the Social Housing Renovation and Retrofit Program (SHRRP). The deadline for submission of the Take up Plan for 2010-2011 was September 30, 2009 and KDSB has met this deadline and awaits approval. The SHRRP program is aimed at maintaining and improving the current subsidized social housing stock. For those tenants dealing with high energy costs, the funding of these renovations will be appreciated.
KDSB will be also be delivering the Northern Housing Component of the Affordable Housing Program Extended 2009. The short turn around periods noted with other affordable housing funding has hindered submissions. Phase One’s deadline has passed however KDSB is hoping to encourage expressions of interest from local housing providers for the Phase Two deadline in February 2010 by providing information sessions. Given the results of the 2009 regional social housing consultation, Kenora has confirmed need and it is hoped that local partners will rise to the opportunity.
Following the July 28, 2009 launch of the Not-for-Profit portion of the Canada Builds Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the Kenora Fellowship Centre moved quickly to develop their second stage housing project before the August 18th deadline for submissions. The proposed housing is for eight second stage single room occupancy unit attached to the Fellowship Centre. The submission requirements were challenging and the proposal could not have been developed without the coordinated contribution of so many community volunteers. The expertise speedily provided by the City of Kenora, the Presbyterian Church In Canada and David Neilson ensured that the proposal was solidly based. The proposal is currently under review and response should be provided soon.
Other community volunteers have also been working to enhance local affordable housing options. Joe Morrison, who has not slowed down in his retirement, is a board member of the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) which has launched the First Nation, Inuit, Métis Urban & Rural Housing (FIMUR) Assisted Homeownership Program. The program will provide funding through forgivable loans for the purpose of purchasing primary residences for a limited number of eligible self-identifying Aboriginal individuals and families with low- to moderate-income. Applications for this program can be found at www.ontarioaboriginalhousing.ca.
The revolving housing trust project is currently on hold due to the economic constraints upon our potential corporate partners and on fundraising. As the recession eases, the steering committee hopes to return soon to project planning.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENTS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING STOCKS
Progress is being made towards the implementation of Making Kenora Home’s recommendations for our community’s affordable and appropriate housing stock. When the organization first formed, members were advised that getting a housing development up and running would require an average of three to five years with available funding. We committed to assisting any local group who were interested in committing to development. To support this commitment, Making Kenora Home has continued advocating researching, and developing resources for our community partners. On our third anniversary, we are happy to report that progress has been made towards several of our recommendations.
The Kenora Fellowship Centre was successful in obtaining a one time grant from the Homelessness Partnering Initiative that allowed operation of their emergency shelter over the course of this summer. Usage confirmed the need for a year round emergency shelter. In addition, a proposal developer was hired short term to develop a sustainability plan and generate income. It is hoped that with this plan, the emergency shelter will achieve permanency.
Following the Renewfest workshop featuring Donna Mayer,
CMHC, a working group submitted a SEED proposal to develop
transitional housing for victims of abuse. REnewfest was
organized by Creatorium and Womens Place. Although funding
lines were exhausted before the application reached the
top of the pile, the group was reassured that they would
be considered in the next funding round. The working group
has continued to explore other funding options in the
Bring a Tin for the Bin*
*Bins located at Extra Foods, Safeway, Recreation Centre and all Making Kenora Home events.
Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation 2009
By popular request, the August Street Picnics returned to the Fellowship Centre. For 5 Saturdays, citizens joined in this summer event, sharing camaraderie across socio-economic lines. Bannock making for beginners was featured this year along with the traditional Thanksgiving feast on the final day. Again, Bethesda Lutheran, supplied homemade pies and labour to deliver up the tasty meal to the appreciative guests.
Walmart’s Charity Committee again ran the food drive to benefit the Salvation Army food bank and made a donation to Making Kenora Home.
The teacher, the students and the bannock!
Bill C-304 Passes Second Reading
Against odds, this private member’s bill to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for all Canadians passed second reading on September 30, 2009. This Act calls for the establishment of a national housing strategy.
Relax at Gingerbread Lane with tea, entertainment and children’s activities
Saturday, 28 Nov. 1-4 pm, Jubilee Hall
Silent Auction of Houses
Both groups and individuals are invited to bring their gingerbread creations to the hall at 10-11 am on Nov. 28 for set up and display. Get involved and build for tomorrow!
Web Site Update: www.makingkenorahome.ca