City of Windsor in process of purchasing a hotel for people experiencing homelessness

·1 min read
The city said it expects to have the purchase of the hotel finalized in the coming weeks.  (Jonathan Pinto/CBC - image credit)
The city said it expects to have the purchase of the hotel finalized in the coming weeks. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC - image credit)

The City of Windsor is in the process of purchasing a hotel to house people experiencing homelessness.

The city's chief of staff, Andrew Teliszewsky, told CBC News in an email Wednesday that city council had approved the deal during an in-camera meeting earlier this year and the legal steps are already underway.

He said the city is also working out getting access to provincial funding sources to complete the sale in the coming weeks, though the costs associated with the purchase have not yet been revealed.

Though the city's homeless population is currently experiencing a significant COVID-19 outbreak, Teliszewksy said the procurement of a space had been a topic of discussion since last year following an Emergency Shelter Review that went to council in the fall of 2020.

He added that beyond the current challenges the city is experiencing with COVID-19 and shelter space, the hotel will be used to support long-term needs by providing an area for women with or without children, youth and young adults.

"Proceeding with a property will allow the City of Windsor maximum flexibility in the years ahead to serve community needs," Teliszewsky said.

Details of the hotel's location cannot be provided at this time, as the owner is still having conversations with their employees, he added.

To cope with the large COVID-19 outbreak among the city's homeless population, an emergency shelter opened on Feb. 25 at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre.

As of Monday, 124 clients and staff have tested positive between the Downtown Mission and Salvation Army shelters.

The Downtown Mission shelters have since been ordered to close by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.