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Guelph city council pledges to match donations to a supportive housing program

Council passed a motion that would see the city match public donations made to the United Way's Home for Good campaign up to $500,000.
Guelph City Hall. Matt Carty / Global News

The City of Guelph is contributing to a program geared towards bringing in supportive housing.

A motion by Mayor Cam Guthrie was passed at Monday’s council meeting that would see the city match public donations made to the United Way’s Home for Good campaign up to $500,000.

The money will come from the city’s affordable/supportive housing reserve.

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“I have confirmed with city staff that there is no application that’s been made for these funds and no new projects on the horizon,” Guthrie said in his blog. “Therefore, the $500k is in the reserve doing nothing more than just sitting.

“We have a chance to give $1,000,000 towards supportive housing instead of $500,000.”

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Glenna Banda, the executive director of the United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, said the money raised from the pledges would represent 20 per cent of their overall goal.

“We’re happy to be raising $5 million to help build three of these projects,” said Banda.

“It is going to house 72 individuals and cut homelessness in our community in half.”

Read more: Easing of COVID-19 restrictions exposing homeless, mental health issues in Guelph, mayor says

Banda was at the meeting when the motion was read and passed, and said city council took an innovative approach to try to get more people to donate.

“This is a huge gap that is researched and proven effective in other communities, and it is a huge opportunity for our community.”

Banda said they hope to reach their $5 million goal by March 2023.

 

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