“Strengthen the Core” Progress as City Homelessness and Housing Help Hub Expands Services in Downtown Windsor


City Council, working in lockstep with community partner organizations in support of the Strengthen the Core: Downtown Windsor Revitalization Plan, has unanimously endorsed and supported an expansion of hours at the City’s Homelessness and Housing Help Hub (H4), from 8:00 a.m. to midnight, seven days per week, including holidays.

The increase of hours at the H4 will now include an expansion of amenities offered at the site, including but not limited to the following:

  • Providing a hot meal for those experiencing homelessness
  • Expansion of healthcare supports onsite seven days per week
  • Collaboration with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Windsor-Essex County Branch to increase allied health professionals onsite during the evening hours from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, seven days per week (starting in July 2024)
  • Introduction of shower facilities (starting in midsummer 2024).
  • Introduction of public computers to increase access to technology (starting in midsummer 2024)
  • Increased recreation programming

In May 2024, City Council unanimously endorsed and approved the $3.2 million Strengthen the Core: Downtown Windsor Revitalization Plan to address safety and security, increase the number of businesses, attract new residents and visitors, and make significant improvements to the city’s core. The plan’s third initial action item, Healthy Spaces, identified an opportunity to extend the H4 hours of operation to ensure people who are unhoused have a facility they can access prior to the opening of overnight shelters, and to better support people experiencing mental health and/or addiction crises. $1.47 million is being invested (prorated for this year) through the plan to support this expansion of hours and additional amenities at the H4.

From April 2020 through to April 2024, over 4,000 unique individuals have accessed supports and services at the H4, and over 300 households have obtained housing. Currently, the City averages about 85 people per day from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.

The City of Windsor acknowledges that the success of the H4 program can only be made possible through strong partnerships with community organizations to support those who are most vulnerable in our community. These partners include but are not limited to the following:

  • Housing Information Services
  • Canadian Mental Health Association – Windsor-Essex County Branch
  • Windsor Essex Community Health Centre
  • Windsor Essex Family Health Team
  • Family Services Windsor Essex
  • Probation & Parole
  • John Howard Society
  • Legal Assistance of Windsor
  • Brentwood Recovery Centre
  • Pozitive Pathways
  • Can Am Indian Friendship Centre
  • New Beginnings


“Building on the success of the current H4, the City of Windsor continues to actively work on the next steps to secure the permanent location for this vital hub of services and supports for vulnerable populations. The future H4 site will offer 64 units of high supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness, mental health and addictions. While work is underway to bring that site to life, City Council is investing in this expansion of hours and amenities where it is needed right now. Importantly, this includes working with partners to deliver primary healthcare supports, including the expansion of onsite physicians and nursing support through collaboration with the Canadian Mental Health Association. We said that we would focus on creating sustainable healthy spaces as part of the Strengthen the Core strategy, and we are committed to Building Windsor’s Future in a way that ensures no one is left behind.” - Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

“This is very good news for our city and another great example of how we are working with many partners and stakeholders to Strengthen the Core. These added supports and increased access to expanded services are critical to the success of this plan, and to helping lift vulnerable residents, for the benefit of our entire community. The work we do here begins in the core but expands far beyond the downtown. It’s great to see more people stepping up and uniting in this worthy cause.” - Councillor Renaldo Agostino, Ward 3

“Oftentimes people experiencing homelessness may choose not to access emergency shelter. The reasons for this are unique to the person or household. It is important to note that there is no mechanism to force people to accept any offer of service, including shelter. The expansion of hours at the H4 serves as an alternate location to be referred to by emergency services, such as police and healthcare staff, for people experiencing homelessness who are not in acute crisis and are seeking support outside of regular business hours.” - Andrew Daher, Commissioner of Human and Health Services, City of Windsor

“City Council’s unanimous decision to expand services at the Homelessness and Housing Help Hub is both welcome and critical. The Windsor Police Service responds daily to situations that are more appropriately addressed by health and human services providers, and I believe that this initiative will help to ease the heavy burden on our officers. More importantly, this evolving strategy will contribute to a meaningful and humane approach to connecting individuals in need to support services while also contributing to a safer downtown for residents, visitors, and business owners.” - Chief Jason Bellaire, Windsor Police Service

“The expansion of hours and outreach at the Homelessness and Housing Help Hub is an incredible example of continuing to address barriers to care and improved health outcomes for our community, in a partnership context. The strength of this approach – extending healthcare services, broadening the interprofessional model of care and expansion of social services by way of the “Strengthen the Core” plan – is predicated on meeting clients where they are at and building an innovative partnership to support their needs. This foundational work has set the course to make tangible and lasting change for our community and demonstrated our commitment to health equity for our most vulnerable members. We are all collectively a part of a short-term plan while simultaneously collaborating to determine the longer-term blueprint. It’s been wonderful to see the great cooperation and shared vision to build a stronger, healthier, and more inclusive community” - Nicole Sbrocca, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association-Windsor-Essex County Branch

“We wholeheartedly support and welcome the expansion of health services at H4. This initiative is vital for providing essential healthcare access to the people experiencing homelessness. The expansion of health services at H4 not only underscores a dedication to improving healthcare accessibility but also symbolizes a collective effort towards building a more compassionate and sustainable community that values the well-being of all its citizens.” - Anna Angelidis, Executive Director, Housing Information Services

Mayor Dilkens at a podium and Commissioner of Human and Health Services Andrew Daher flanking a sign that reads, Strengthen the Core, 1, Safe Streets; 2, High Standards; 3, Healthy Spaces; 4, Place-Making; 5, Vibrant District; 6, Our Downtown; 7, Stronger Together

Photo: Left to right, Commissioner of Human and Health Services Andrew Daher and Mayor Drew Dilkens

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