Windsor city councilor supports a move by the Downtown Mission. “I think we definitely need to find a new home for them.”
Before they begin looking for a new home the Downtown Mission anxiously awaits a report from the City of Windsor.
“Which was supposed to let us know, and our community know, where shelters should be located in our community and what services should be around them,” said Rukshini Ponniah-Goulin, executive director of the Mission.
Bortolin says it’s important other services support the Mission’s eventual new home.
“That’s exactly what we want for the system. We want them to be working together and to be mutually coordinated on efforts to make sure we’re actually tackling the problem and not just putting band aids on it,” said Bortolin, who hopes the study is available next month.
The mission was looking to build on McDougall near Shepherd but the purchase offer expired early last year. Although the location is on pause, Bortolin is hoping the site can be brought back to the table at some point in the future.
“They’ve done a lot of the pre-work for the zoning application. My advice would be to keep moving with that because I think regardless of what comes forward I think that location will be seen as a positive location.”
Back in May the Mission moved away from Victoria Street and settled under one roof on Ouellette.
“We are all there at that building for our adult services,” said Ponniah-Goulin.
They’ve made the best of the space available but Ponniah-Goulin feels the challenge of services crossing paths.
“We are now having people who are using our shelter and our dining room throughout the day and night in very close proximity to the increasing lineups of people using our food bank.”
Since the move to Ouellette Lillian Herceg has noticed a considerable difference in the 500 block of Victoria.
“It’s really so unusual that we are still kind of adjusting to this new beautiful normal.”
She doesn’t miss the scene in front of her house or the sirens at all hours of the day but Herceg does wish the mission well. She is hopeful the Mission can become a stronger piece of the overall puzzle, in a new home.
“Have the necessary services, have everything for these people and really give them the care they deserve to get back on the path and be contributing members of our society.”
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