Youth Haven to get a new home sweet home

Youth Haven hopes to raise $600,000 in the community

A century-old home in downtown Barrie that has been a safe place for at-risk youth and youth experiencing homelessness is going to be demolished, and a new facility is going to be constructed on the same property.

At a meeting on Wednesday night, Youth Haven unveiled a capital campaign called “New Haven for Youth Haven” in conjunction with the Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association (SCHBA).

SCHBA executive officer Sandy Tuckey says they were invited to Youth Haven a few months ago to look at some repairs to the home that were needed.

“We walked through and we were overwhelmed by the state the shelter was in,” says Tuckey.

She says Youth Haven executive director Lucy Gowers was seeking some wall and floor repairs, and some minor cosmetic things.

“We walked around, and it was quickly evident that the home was not structurally sound, and it needed more than just a few cosmetic repairs.”

The SCHBA brought in structural engineers and their builders to do a complete walk-through of the shelter. It was determined that it was going to require a knockdown and rebuild. Construction of the new home is set for August 2023 with completion one month later.

“Home builders, renovators, trades and suppliers are all backing this,” says Tuckey. We have many builders and developers that are willing to give their time and labour.”

A new home sweet home will be beneficial to youth and staff, says Gowers.

“The environment makes a huge difference. We want to make sure this build is going to be the best possible home for our youth, with brighter rooms, and a health care clinic on-site without having to interrupt staff to use one of their offices, and we will have a quiet room for youth who have just come off the streets.”

There is a community component to the rebuild. Gowers says they hope to fundraise $600,000, and she adds approaching various levels of government for financial support is not off the table.

“If anyone has been through our emergency shelter, then you understand why it is that we need to make this happen.”

Capital campaign information here.

Banner image supplied (Youth Haven/SCHBA)

About Youth Haven:

Youth Haven provides emergency shelter and essential services for youth experiencing homelessness. As Simcoe County’s only emergency shelter for youth experiencing homelessness, Youth Haven also provides outreach services and programs to at-risk youth in Barrie, Orillia, Midland, southern Georgian Bay, and south Simcoe. For over 30 years, Youth Haven has helped youth aged 16 -24 through crisis intervention and programming, care management, transitional housing, and outreach.

About the Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association:

The Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association (SCHBA) represents builders, developers, renovators, sub-contractors, suppliers and building industry professionals in Simcoe County. Simcoe County is the region immediately north of the Greater Golden Horseshoe which is home to approximately 450,000 people and has an employment base of 230,000 jurisdictions.