“Cornerstone” unveiled in Ottawa

Published May 30, 2011

Cornerstone Foundation, a ministry of the Anglican diocese of Ottawa, unveiled its $11.8 million shelter for women May 25. Photo: Art Babych

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An apartment complex for low-income women, built with support from faith communities, private donors and government, was unveiled in Ottawa on May 25. 

Cornerstone, a community ministry of the Anglican diocese of Ottawa, spearheaded the $11.8 million project.

The four-storey building, which includes three floors of studio units, will house 42 women, 20 of them seniors, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

"We are  delighted to have been able to develop such an amazing residence for women who are homeless or are on the brink of becoming homeless," said the diocesan bishop, John Chapman. " The people of the diocese of Ottawa are called to witness to the Gospel, meaning we must do all we can to promote a just society,
which includes an individual’s right to shelter in a safe setting."

The new residents are expected to move into the residence at 314 Booth Street on June 20.

The building is wheelchair-accessible, an important feature since some of the residents have disabilities. It is also equipped with 24-hour health care assistance. As well, residents will have access to cafeteria-style meals if they choose to do so.

Sue Garvey, director of Cornerstone, told the Anglican Journal in an earlier interview that the facility will be “similar to a retirement home.”

The building is also environment-friendly. “Going green makes economic sense as many measures cost nothing to implement and others repay in a few years through energy savings,” said a press statement  issued by Cornerstone.

Cornerstone’s capital campaign, Journey of Hope, raised more than $2.3 million for the project, including $1 million from the (Roman Catholic) Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Pembroke. Anglican parishes, faith communities, community groups and individual donors have also “sponsored” each studio unit, providing furnishings and appliances.

The Ontario government’s affordable housing program contributed $6.3 million, while the federal government contributed $2.1 million from its homelessness partnership initiative. The city of Ottawa provided rebates and tax waivers.

Cornerstone, which began its mission to help women living on the streets of Ottawa in the 1980s, runs three other residences: an emergency shelter that houses 55 women each night, and two permanent housing facilities with 26 units.


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