London

Downtown building to be transformed into transitional housing facility for young adults

A Richmond Street heritage building will be transformed into a housing facility for young adults leaving the care of the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex (CASLM).

Federal government to invest more than half a million dollars in the project

This is the facility at 340 Richmond St. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

A Richmond Street heritage building will be transformed into a housing facility for young adults leaving the care of the Children's Aid Society of London and Middlesex (CASLM).

The federal government announced on Thursday a $559,463 investment in the renovation project at 340 Richmond St., which will be operated by Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU).

"This building will be home to five young adults and a housing advisor; offering them affordable housing and access to supports that will include education, employment and the caring and support we all need, especially as we move into adulthood. Together, we will help these vulnerable young adults thrive," said Steve Cordes, executive director at YOU.

Features

The structure currently features commercial and residential units. Once renovations are completed, the building will have five transitional housing units for people between the ages of 16 and 21. It will also include an additional unit for a live-in support worker.

The main floor will feature services including an employment resource centre, interview room and a computer lab.

"The London community has a high percentage of youth that are homeless, that couch surf and on a daily basis do not have stable housing. So, this will provide an opportunity for them to become stable and receive supports they need to move into a more stable, permanent situation," said Kristian Wilson, senior director of service at CASLM.

There are up to 1,000 homeless youth in the community, said Wilson, noting there's still a need for continued work.

Officials are hoping to complete the renovations by next summer.

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