Two Ontario Trillium Foundation grants have helped Blue Door recover and strengthen its resources following the pandemic.
With a one-year $149,900 Resilient Communities Fund grant in 2022, Blue Door hired an executive assistant and fundraising co-ordinator to increase its financial stability and support the development of a new accessible website launching this spring, according to a Blue Door news release. The executive assistant supports Blue Door’s growing board, as well as planning for the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 through the creation of a 2023-2025 strategic plan.
An additional two-year $199,100 Resilient Communities Fund grant was awarded last summer to help Blue Door create and retain affordable housing in York Region.
To begin this work, Blue Door has first turned to its under-utilized property in Newmarket, Kevin’s Place, where a 100-year-old house sits on less than 30 per cent of the land, the news release states. Blue Door plans to redevelop the property, with the support of EllisDon Community Builders and Habitat for Humanity GTA, to create purpose-built affordable and accessible housing, effectively housing tripling the number of people.
York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney and Newmarket-Aurora MPP Dawn Gallagher Murphy visited Blue Door’s locations in Newmarket and Aurora last week to see first-hand the impact of the funding.
“Supporting our community partners is about investing in all of our futures. This funding will have a direct and positive impact on purpose-built affordable and accessible housing,” said Mulroney. “These investments will ensure our community has access to programming and services to help our youth, adults, seniors and families live the quality lives they deserve.”
“I am proud of our government’s initiatives to support organizations like Blue Door as they work so hard at tackling homelessness,” said Gallagher Murphy. “The bold and innovative ‘out of the box’ solutions Blue Door creates are truly a great investment. By helping our community members transition out of homelessness, onto a pathway where they have a viable work opportunity and housing, ensures that sense of home and security everyone deserves.”
“With the cost of living increasing throughout the pandemic, we are seeing more people struggling to get by and facing homelessness,” said Michael Braithwaite, CEO of Blue Door. “Ontario Trillium Foundation understands and cares for our communities. With generous funding from the OTF Resilient Communities Fund grant, Blue Door launched a new three-year strategic plan to boldly help people escape homelessness through employment, health, and housing supports including creating more affordable housing.”