New Housing Facility and Life Skills Programming to Support At-Risk Youth


At-risk young individuals facing housing security and homelessness in Windsor will now have a new place to receive refuge and support. With funding from three levels of government, a partnership between the City of Windsor, Public Safety Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC) and the Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society (WECAS) has led to the creation of a youth supportive housing complex with dedicated life skills programming. The housing complex created by the CHC supports up to 15 individuals between the ages of 18 and 23 transitioning out of the child welfare system and into adulthood.

Studies have shown that youth in and from the child welfare system are more likely to experience a range of negative outcomes due the experience of traumatic events and having less stable home environments and relationships. Early supportive programming for youth transitioning out of care has been found to reduce risks and promote positive outcomes to ensure youth have the tools, skills, and stability to have a better path forward. 

More than two million dollars of the funding comes from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). The RHI was launched in 2020 to help address urgent housing needs through the rapid construction of affordable housing. The Windsor-Essex CHC was able to build a modern and attractive home for youth as a result of this funding.

Public Safety Canada also contributed funding to the project through the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF). The objective of the BSCF is to support municipalities and Indigenous communities in their efforts to address gun and gang prevalence through community-led projects. Funded exclusively through the BSCF, WECAS will implement new programming at the location, including life skills development on topics such as home management and tenancy, financial literacy and budgeting, and self care; peer engagement and leadership opportunities; prevention strategies for negative peer or gang involvement; and finally, community engagement and career exploration. The programming will be supported by community partners New Beginnings, local experts in risk intervention and prevention techniques, to promote community safety and prevent gun and gang violence.

As the entity responsible for overseeing both federal and provincial housing programs in Windsor and Essex County, the City of Windsor continues to pursue programs, 

partnerships, and opportunities to increase the housing stock to address housing and homelessness challenges in the community. The Rapid Housing Initiative is one such opportunity. 

The ongoing efforts work to achieve Goal 1 of the Housing and Homelessness Department’s ten-year Home, Together: Windsor Essex Housing and Homelessness Master Plan (HHMP). Goal 1 is to “Sustain and Expand Social and Affordable Housing Supply.”

The new facility is expected to be ready to accept individuals beginning in June of 2024.


“City Council recognizes that initiatives like this new supportive housing complex make a profound difference for at-risk youth and vulnerable populations in Windsor. When we talk about Housing Solutions Made for Windsor and efforts to Strengthen the Core and create healthy spaces downtown and beyond, it is all part of a larger conversation around Building Windsor’s Future in a way that ensures no one is left behind. We are committed to implementing the strategies in the 10-year Housing and Homelessness Master Plan; and to building a more inclusive, resilient Windsor for all. Thank you to the funders and stakeholders who came to the table to support this development in partnership with the City of Windsor.” - Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

“At Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (WECHC), we are committed to nurturing and safeguarding our communities, especially at-risk youth. Through this new partnership, we are proud to offer a safe haven for young people facing homelessness and housing insecurity. Our new youth supportive housing complex will provide not just shelter, but a beautiful, modern home where these youth can gain the life skills needed to embark on a successful journey forward. We are proud to have built this lovely home for these much deserving youth.” - Cynthia Summers, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation

“The challenges faced by our youth can feel overwhelming and insurmountable especially in a time where the cost of living is rising and affordable housing is scarce. That is why this project is so vitally important and necessary. The project’s starting point addresses housing insecurity for those youth between 18 and 23 who are transitioning from CAS care into independence and then goes well beyond by offering programming that builds the skillsets, networks and self-care practices needed to thrive in independence. I am incredibly proud to have entered into this united venture alongside my amazing staff at WECAS and our key partners. On behalf of the youth served by WECAS we thank the community for making a difference, together!” - Derrick Drouillard, Executive Director, Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society

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