YMCA could offer space to families waiting for social housing
City committee to vote Thursday on proposal to convert 2 floors of rooms at Argyle Ave. YMCA
A City of Ottawa committee is voting this week on a proposal to dedicate two floors of rooms at the YMCA on Argyle Avenue into family accommodation for people waiting to be placed into social housing.
The renovation would cost about $1 million and make space for about 30 families.
Just more than half of the cost has been raised through private donations.
The city would need to chip in the remaining $400,000.
Deirdre Speers, president and CEO of the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA, said about 60 families are staying in hotels and motels around Ottawa at any given time.
"...we wanted to try and find a better solution to that," Speers said.
"And so, looking at our tower, [we thought] how could we expand the services we're doing to help get at least 30 more families out of those hotel/motel situations and into something that has the wraparound services?"
Those wraparound services include everything the YMCA already offers, such as access to health services, day care, camps, employment support, rehab or counselling services, the gym or the pool.
Nadine Sumani, 34, has lived in a motel room on Rideau Street for the past seven months, along with her two daughters, a two-year-old son and a newborn. The family moved to Canada from Uganda four years ago.
They share two queen-sized beds and the baby sleeps in a crib.
"It's very, very difficult, you see. I have kids here, I'm a single mother, no house," Sumani said.
The community and protective services committee is expected to vote on the proposal this Thursday.