Guelph's Drop In Centre finalizes purchase of Parkview Motel for supportive housing project

Guelph’s Drop In Centre has finalized the purchase of the Parkview Motel and is moving forward to convert the property into permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

The motel at 721 Woolwich St. has served as an emergency shelter since 1986.

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The new facility, to be called Grace Gardens in recognition of donor Grace Frank, would provide on-site staff, supports and more stability for those staying there.

Guelph city council still needs to sign off on a rezoning application for the project.

“We’re hopeful that we can proceed with our proposal to create an intentionally planned and beautified space to provide housing stability and supports for 32 individuals,” said Gail Hoekstra, executive director of the Drop-In Centre.

“If the zoning is approved, we are in a much better position to be eligible for government funding to help with the renovations to create the best version of Grace Gardens for our community.”

Councillors will meet on April 12 to discuss the application and city staff are recommending that they approve it.

If the zoning change is not approved, the facility will still continue to operate as an emergency shelter, with on-site staff, providing short-term accommodations for the homeless.

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It is expected to be ready for guests next month. Staff will spend the coming weeks cleaning and organizing the space.

“We have been working towards a purchase of this nature for nine years,” said Hoekstra.

“Grace Gardens will have an impact, one way or another, in helping us restore hope, safety and grace for individuals who need it most.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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