By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A bright and airy space that provides supportive housing for 35 people is St. Agnes Catholic School reimagined.
That’s the plan that Indwell Community Homes has in mind for the Croydon Street property. The Hamilton-based Christian charity recently purchased the vacant school from the St. Clair Catholic District School Board for $635,000.
According to Al Baker, network co-ordinator for NeighbourLink, the building will be modified to create an assortment of small apartments and common areas that will give residents a “whole new lease on life” if all goes well.
“Indwell is very good at helping people,” Baker said, adding the company’s existing housing developments provide stable housing for people affected by addictions, mental illness and homelessness.
Essentially, the company provides a home that allows people to get well by equipping them with easy access to services so they can learn new skills and make better life choices.
The new complex will feature a nurse’s station to administer medication and an industrial kitchen so residents can be guaranteed at least one nutritious meal per day.
The supportive housing model helps people struggling with mental health to “clear up their thinking,” Baker explained.
Baker said NeighbourLink approached Indwell about 18 months ago to see if there was interest in coming to Chatham-Kent to help solve the municipality’s homelessness problem.
Indwell has a long history of providing housing to those in need and has complexes in London, Simcoe, Woodstock and Hamilton. Apartment rentals are affordable and assistance is available to residents 24-hours a day.
The Chatham-Kent development is still in its infancy, as the building still needs to be assessed before a deal is finalized.
Indwell officials are currently in the midst of putting together a campaign for the site development and have recently hired Scott Brush to co-ordinate the launch.