Building Hope on Block Line: Laying the foundation

By Shantal Otchere

We’re on track to house 41 women experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness in the Kitchener region by the end of the year.

In early July, we received our building permit and didn’t waste any time. The construction crew started excavating the site where just five months from now our Affordable and Supportive Housing project will stand.

The large mounds of earth excavators quickly shoveled and piled high above the site cleared the path for a very significant development—a foundation.

While the sight of the foundation currently occupying the space at 1470 Block Line Road may seem like an inconsequential – perhaps even unsightly – view for local passersby, a foundation is especially significant to us at the YW Kitchener-Waterloo. A foundation means our affordable and supportive housing project is not just underway, it means that one of the essential requirements for our project to stand safely and securely is in place. In another, and equally essential, sense a foundation is also the very thing we aim to provide the women who will call this space home come December.

Amid a national housing crisis where affordable housing has become less and less possible to come by and the record number of women forced to leave the job market owing to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the need to support women, who experience some of the highest rates of poverty and abuse, have never been more vital.

We’re not sure if you can imagine what it’s like to live without a place to call home. We hope you will never come to know personally what it’s like to live without access to a permanent place to live or the supports to build a life of promise or to lose the ability to hope. Some of you reading this may just see a few blocks of cement. But to us, those few blocks of cement will play a role in lifting up women in the region who know all too well what it’s like to equate “home” to an unattainable dream and to live without a belief that things can improve.

We’re not just building homes on Block Line. The YW is building a place for women to have access to life-changing resources 24/7. We’re building a place where women can feel a sense of security and belonging. We’re building a place where women can hope again.

The foundation for a new opportunity and renewed self-confidence starts here. Can you see it?

Moving into a new home is a huge step. The transition from the shelter system into housing is even bigger. You can help women moving into our Affordable and Supportive housing by supporting this project with a donation of any size. Every donation to our Building Hope on Block Line project goes towards purchasing all of the household items they need to begin their lives in their new home.


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