Affordable housing team raises $100,000

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Organizers behind a push for more affordable housing in Chatham-Kent said the community support for the project keeps rolling in.

NeighbourLink, working with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Employment and Social Services, Chatham Hope Haven, ROCK Missions, the United Way, the building industry and many churches, invited an organization called Indwell into the community to produce supportive housing for the homeless.

Organizers say the goal is to make 150 new units available over the next five years in various centres around Chatham-Kent where they are most needed.

Indwell has a high success rate in communities in southern Ontario, officials said, with a history of more than 45 years of creating affordable housing communities that support people who have struggled to maintain housing – those with mental health challenges, addictions, or other challenges.

In fewer than two months, the local committee working to bring Indwell here set and met a $100,000 fundraising goal – accomplishing the task more than a month ahead of schedule.

In early December, the local committee set a fundraising target of $100,000 by March 1 to resource a champion to lead this project over the next two years. This goal was exceeded by the end of January.

The project committee members jumpstarted the campaign in the first two weeks by providing $20,000, and the remainder of the funding was raised through 50 donations out of 100 personal contacts.

Several generous donations came in unsolicited, organizers said.

Indwell will be advertising for a new project launch manager in the coming weeks, and work will soon begin in earnest, according to the organizing committee.

“The Chatham-Kent Indwell project is expected to be the most cost effective and sustainable solution to homelessness in our communities,” Harold Vander Ende, chair of the committee, said in a news release.

Fundraising will continue with a goal of several millions of dollars, organizers said. The privately raised funds will be utilized to leverage for additional support from senior levels of government to combine to produce 150 affordable housing units over the next five years.

“NeighbourLink and Indwell urge the citizens of Chatham-Kent to join us with their financial support to provide hope to the homeless,” Vander Ende said.

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