Why are Sheila Nabigon-Howlett, Judy Amsbury, Anne Campbell and Jim Abel smiling so much? A new partnership between Habitat for Humanity and Peterborough Action for Tiny Homes (PATH) will provide some interim solutions to the local homelessness crisis.
Both organizations share a mission as shelter-based groups providing access to affordable homeownership. Habitat PKR had followed PATH on its mission and saw an opportunity where it could help in a big way.
Since 2021, PATH has been working on a grassroots level advocating for solutions including a transitional community of sleeping cabins. Its plan includes wraparound supports to bring stability to the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness.
While PATH has constructed several sleeping cabins and built a community of support, they have experienced one major challenge. The group had not acquired land to support its much-needed transitional living community.
Habitat has purchased the former Peterborough Humane Society building on Lansdowne Street East, with plans to build a mixed-use development. While Habitat works through the planning and development stages, the property will be leased to PATH. That way, Habitat can support its intentions to create a transitional living center for individuals in the community who are unhoused.
“Our vision at Habitat for Humanity is a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. This partnership will allow us to give a hand up to PATH and unhoused members of our community by providing them with a safe place where they can connect, heal and build community,” says Susan Zambonin, CEO of Peterborough Kawartha Region.
Peterborough’s housing crisis has been exacerbated by overlapping crises of trauma, mental health, addictions disability and much more. With a shelter system unable to meet the complex needs of our community and one of the lowest vacancy rates across Ontario’s metropolitan areas, the unhoused in our community have few supports and are pushed to the margins of society.
“Habitat for Humanity has just made it possible for PATH’s dream to become a reality,” says PATH Chair Trish Campbell. “This is the birth of a creative relationship to respond to Peterborough’s housing and homelessness crisis.”
“We can now move ahead on the many pledges of financial and in-kind support from the wider community,” adds Keith Dalton, PATH’s land acquisitions lead. “The missing piece has been land. PATH is happy to partner on this with Habitat for Humanity.”
Supporters Alex Bierk, Sheila Nabigon-Howlett and Father Leo Coughlin celebrate the good news.
While this project is in the early stages, an open house will be scheduled soon to give neighbouring residents an opportunity to learn more. If residents have questions, comments or statements of support, they can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org in the meantime. You can also support the project by volunteering or donating.
More details about the project will be coming soon.