Homelessness and Housing Help Hub (H4)
Effectively responding to homelessness during a global pandemic resulted in communities throughout Canada rapidly adapting service delivery and propping up new initiatives to better meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness. When physical distancing, masks and hand hygiene became a matter of life or death for some, and uncertain illness for others, many community services were closed or reduced to limited capacity.
Windsor’s response was to open the Homelessness and Housing Help Hub, also known as H4, in the former Windsor Water World building at 400 Wyandotte Street East. The site now operates as an enriched service centre and inclusive daytime drop-in — connecting people experiencing homelessness to services, community support agencies, and basic medical care, all while helping provide for their basic needs such as food, restrooms, clothing and quiet/safe spaces for daytime rest.
Since it opened in April 2020, it has become evident that this facility fills many gaps in serving and supporting the citizens of Windsor experiencing homelessness and has tremendous potential to impact homelessness on a large scale. Many people who rely on this facility describe it as the only place they feel safe and add that they don’t know where they would go without it.
The challenge we face now is that the existing facility in the former Windsor Water World is a “make-do” situation, or as some have described — “a square peg in a round hole.” It is a roof overhead for a group of amazing staff that have been incredibly resourceful, but it fails on many fundamental levels of functionality.
The City of Windsor retained Glos Arch + Eng to undertake comprehensive community consultation to explore the feasibility of re-homing, and re-imagining the H4 facility as a permanent community asset. Please read the What we Heard Report and Architectural Feasibility Study.
The original project vision can be found here: Council Report.
The City of Windsor is in the process of identifying potential locations for a new Housing Hub. The latest council report and project update can be found here: Project Update.
If you have any further questions or related feedback for the project team, please reach out to Kelly Goz, Coordinator Housing Administration and Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Whitney Kitchen, Coordinator Housing Administration and Development, at email@example.com