Windsor renovating hotel for emergency shelter for women and families

The future home of the Welcom Centre Shelter for Women and Families, October 1, 2021. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

After receiving funding from the province, the City of Windsor is partnering with the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women and Families to open a new emergency shelter in the city.

The facility will have 34 units for single women and 15 units for families who are experiencing homelessness. The numbers will be flexible based on the current needs of the community.

“This means no more calls where I have to say I don’t have room. This means not turning people away because they have pets that they don’t want to abandon in order to access shelter,” said Welcome Centre Shelter Executive Director Lady Laforet.

The current shelter only houses about 15 single women. Families are sheltered at a local hotel, away from direct support from the centre. This will be the first pet-friendly emergency shelter in the city.

The City of Windsor purchased and will renovate a former motel on Tuscarora Street with a $7.75 million contribution from the provincial government’s Social Services Relief Fund.

“While we recognize that the solution to homelessness is a home, we are excited for today’s announcement of the emergency shelter for women and families,” said City of Windsor Human and Health Services Commissioner Jelena Payne. “This is the first designated shelter for families in the region, and we are grateful for the provincial government’s investment to bring this long overdue initiative to fruition. This investment provides for a safe and supportive environment for women and families experiencing homelessness.”

The new shelter will be open in March 2022. At that time the Welcome Centre will stop operating a shelter at its Bridge Avenue location, however, Laforet said they still plan to offer services out of that facility.