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Raising the Roof celebrates opening of new home in Caledon

March 12, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By ALYSSA PARKHILL

A small piece of history in Caledon was able to be brought alive within the community by turning an old, underutilized heritage property, into a renovated and simply stunning home so that people with disabilities can have their own place to live.

Raising the Roof is non-profit charitable organization that dedicates themselves to, predominantly, creating homes and accessible living for those struggling through homelessness, and other issues that may impact an individual’s ability to live alone.

This initiative is part of the Reside project, which according to their website, “is designed to create a community renovation project with the specific intention to prevent homelessness by creating new housing options for people at risk or currently experiencing homelessness. Currently, we are renovating vacant or underutilized spaces such as heritage homes, however, the Reside model can be applied to many different kinds of properties.” 

“Every night, thousands of low-income Canadians sleep on the streets, and people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable. With Reside, we acquire under-utilized homes, fix them up, and offer them as affordable housing to people who need them most. In the process, we restore a local community asset, create training and employment opportunities for people facing barriers through the construction work, and create housing for vulnerable members of our community. Cedar Mains is the first of many homes we aim to convert into affordable as we partner to provide solutions to the housing crisis,” said Marc Soberano, Executive Director of Raising the Roof. 

The new renovated home at 1 Cedar Mains is the first heritage home to be renovated in part of the Reside project. The property was an abandoned heritage church that sat unused for several years. Raising the Roof reached out to the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), who owns the property, to lease it, and, eventually, redevelop. 

The TRCA provided a 20-year lease to the organization for the Reside project for a total of only $1. 

The redevelopment of the heritage home was a team collaborative effort with Home Depot Foundation, RBC Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Town of Caledon, Town of Vaughan, the Caledon Heritage Society, Social Venture Partners, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Hockey Helps the Homeless. Toronto contractor company Building Up, used this opportunity to work with Raising the Roof to give opportunities to over 90 people looking to getting into the industry. As result of this project, 85 per cent of those went on to get apprenticeships. 

“Working together with our community partners, The Home Depot Canada is committed to ending youth homelessness and we are so proud to support Raising the Roof with the launch of their new home to support youth that are at risk of homelessness,” said Pam O’Rourke, chair, The Home Depot Canada Foundation and Vice President, merchandising, The Home Depot Canada. “By supporting organizations that provide a safe place to call home and important life-skills programs, we can help bring housing and hope to our most vulnerable youth.”

CAFFI Housing, which is a non-profit organization of parents of adult children with disabilities who provide housing and support for their children and others with disabilities facing struggles with housing are the first tenants to live in a Reside project home.

Some big faces attended the ribbon cutting ceremony including local MPP and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Mayor Allan Thompson, the TRCA, many members of council and MP Kyle Seeback.

“I think it’s great when a community comes together. When you hear the list of organizations and people that decided to put time and effort and money into a project like this, it just makes you feel good about the people of Caledon, and community,” said Seeback. “I hope this is one of 50 houses that are going to be built in the coming years.”

Mayor Allan Thompson shared similar sentiments, congratulating everyone on their hard work and united work. 

“There’s huge history here. It’s nice to see the property come alive again and to me, that’s really important. This is something we should all be very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” commented Thompson.

 To learn more about Raising the Roof and the Reside project, visit raisingtheroof.org. 



         

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