Occupy Windsor finds housing for homeless

Four men who arrived at the Occupy Windsor camp homeless now have places to call home.

Four men who arrived at the Occupy Windsor camp homeless now have places to call home.

Members of the movement, with the assistance of the Windsor Police and the city social services department, found apartments for the men.

Ron Pritchard, 41, admits he's an alcoholic. After doing odd jobs for years, he fell on hard times, was dealing dope, spent time in jail and ended up on the street.

Prior to calling a donated tent at Senator David Croll Park home, he was living under a bridge.

When Occupy Windsor announced last week it would disband, Pritchard emotionally addressed his fellow demonstrators and the media.

Three days later, Pritchard now resides in a bachelor apartment in a social  housing project on Glengarry Avenue.

With a smile, he opens the door to his new apartment. It's the first real home he's had in a year.

"Friends did it for me through Occupy Windsor," Pritchard, 41, said. "It's a new start. I can better my life."

Richard Dalkeith, 34, has been drifting across the country for years. He, too, was addicted to alcohol.

He said he found himself and gained a footing at Occupy Windsor.

"When I walk into this apartment, it's a great big change. I'm just really ecstatic and I'm pretty happy right now," he said. from his new bachelor apartment. "I am so grateful for all the help."

Occupy Windsor remains committed

Ken Lewenza Jr. had been involved with the Occupy movement and helped the men get into the apartments.

"I think generally the people that are here today are excited about having a place to stay for the first time in a long time. They are in much more safe conditions," Lewenza Jr. said. "People from Occupy Windsor made a commitment to them. We're going to stay in touch."

Charles Castillo had been homeless for two years before being given a similar apartment..

"I'm very thankful, especially because ... this seems to be the start of a brutal winter," Castillo said. "I've already been feeling the aches and the pains of the cold and it  was not pleasant already.

"This is fantastic."

This housing is temporary. Lewenza says the Occupy Windsor members and city officials will talk this week in order to find more long-term housing for the men.