Agreement Reached to Save the Red Door Family Shelter

Read More - Toronto Star Editorial: Great model for the city.

TORONTO, Ont. – March 9, 2015

The Red Door Family Shelter, the City of Toronto and Harhay Construction Management have constructed a plan to save one of Toronto’s oldest shelters for homeless families located at 875 Queen St. East. Last year, the shelter was left without a concrete future after the property it sits on was placed into receivership, and was in the process of being sold to a developer.

“To the residents of South Riverdale and to all Torontonians – we heard you,” says Toronto City Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 30. “The provision of shelter services is an essential service that the City must provide to vulnerable citizens. Thank you for raising your voices.”

Harhay Construction Management is working with the City of Toronto and The Red Door to incorporate the shelter into its plans for the site. The new shelter will be operated by the Red Door, which will also finance the interior improvements. Further details on the proposal and funding will be provided in an April report to the Executive Committee.

The plan calls for the City of Toronto to own the shelter space and be leased on a long-term basis to the Red Door. The Red Door will be responsible for furnishing of the new shelter and ongoing operations. In April the full details of the proposal and funding will be unveiled and considered by Toronto's Executive Committee.

“The opportunity to design and construct a complex that incorporates a space for families in need is an exciting prospect,” said Chris Harhay, president, Harhay Construction Management. “We are delighted to work with The Red Door and the City to make this happen.”

The new facility will have 20,000 square feet of new shelter space. This is a significant improvement in services, as unrelated families will no longer have to share bedrooms and bathrooms.

“Today we celebrate a victory – but the there is much more to do,” explains Bernnitta Hawkins, Executive Director, Red Door Family Shelter. “Today we launch a $3 million capital campaign to raise the funds needed to outfit this new shelter with furniture, bathrooms and kitchen appliances.”

“If you have the means to donate, we encourage you to visit,” adds Hawkins.

Torontonians are asked to participate in an open house tonight (March 9, 2015) from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen Street East). The Red Door, Councillor Fletcher and a representative from Harhay Construction Management will discuss the agreement and answer any questions. The plans for the condominium and new shelter will be on display.

About the Red Door Shelter

Since 1982, the Red Door has provided services for families and individuals who need safe and supportive emergency shelter. Responding to the growing need for shelter space for homeless families, the Red Door was opened in the basement of the Woodgreen United Church by a group of volunteers. It has now grown to be one of the largest family shelters in the city, providing shelter and support to over 500 families every year.

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