The Grind Pembroke has embarked on an initiative to provide transitional (short-term) housing to homeless individuals who are connected to a health or social service agency and who are actively working on a plan to stabilize their lives.

This initiative was made possible through the generous donation of a two-storey house from the estate of a deceased community member. Once renovations are completed, the house is expected to accommodate at least three individuals for a week or month at a time. The house will have a full-time house supervisor and meals will be provided. Residents’ room and board will be subsidized by partnering health and social agencies. Operational costs will be covered by community donations and available grants.

Renovation assessments began in the Summer of 2018, with work commencing in the Fall of the same year. Initial work is being done by a team of volunteers who have specific skills sets in electrical, HVAC, carpentry and plumbing. Plans are to have Transition House operational by early 2020 given adequate resourcing.

Already, community spirit is evident in bringing the project to fruition. In May of 2018, the students of Algonquin College’s Office Administration-Executive Program adopted Transition House as the focus of their “Project Hope for the Homeless” initiative to raise funds towards the anticipated $100,000 cost of renovations. With several months of planning, as part of their fundraising and event planning course segment, the college students and their supportive faculty raised, with the help of generous community members and businesses, nearly $12,000. These funds were augmented by a generous donation of $10,000 by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London, Ontario. Other sources of funding are currently being explored, including from the community.

Students of the college’s Construction & Renovation Program have also joined in supporting the project. In March of 2019, 12 students and their professor spent two weeks at the house installing new walls, insulation and drywall on both levels.

The renovations are expected to be completed in January, 2020, followed by an official opening. Operation of the facility is anticipated to begin by Spring 2020.