128 Norfolk Street in Guelph

County of Wellington Temporary Accommodation Services at 128 Norfolk Street in Guelph

The County of Wellington has negotiated an 18-month lease agreement with the property owner of 128 Norfolk Street from July 1, 2024, through December 31, 2025. 

Temporary accommodation services will be relocated to 128 Norfolk Street in downtown Guelph. Residents currently staying at the Silvercreek Temporary Accommodation Site will be offered a space and assistance with the move to the new location.

The temporary accommodation programme will have staff onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the current support staffing provided by Stepping Stone will be transferred to the 128 Norfolk Street property. The County, Stepping Stone, and other service partners will continue to collaborate using a housing-focused approach to assist residents as they work towards permanent housing solutions.

On Tuesday, July 2, 2024, residents of the Silvercreek Temporary Accommodation Site will be moving into 128 Norfolk Street. The County is working closely with Stepping Stone and residents to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

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Why a new site is needed to fill the capacity provided by the Silvercreek Temporary Accommodation Site.

In March 2020, the County of Wellington entered into lease arrangements to temporarily accommodate individuals in the shelter system during the COVID-19 pandemic at the Silvercreek Temporary Accommodation Site. The Silvercreek site is staffed 24/7, operated by Stepping Stone and provides 65 spaces, making up 44% of available spaces in the housing stability system. 

There had been a planned phase out of temporary accommodation at the Silvercreek site scheduled to take place in 2024, based on increased system level capacity from new supportive housing projects. There has been a rise in the number of individuals experiencing homelessness that occurred in late 2023 and into 2024. As a result, we need to maintain the 65 spaces of temporary accommodation provided at the Silvercreek site following the end of our lease arrangement.

If the 65 temporary accommodation spaces at the Silvercreek Site were not replaced, the number of spaces available in our housing stability system would decrease significantly, leaving us with total of 81 spaces, compared to our current level of 146 spaces. The loss of 65 spaces would increase the gap between needs and available space considerably and immediately increase number of people without temporary accommodation options. 

Even with the addition of 32 new units of Supportive housing (Kindle Communities), 28 units of Transitional housing (65 Delhi) coming online by the end of 2024 and the additional capacity being developed at 23 Gordon in early 2025, the housing stability system cannot absorb the loss of this large capacity site as the needs of our community have changed rapidly over the past year.   

The building is currently vacant and, without future use planned for the site, the owner has agreed to lease the property at 128 Norfolk to the County of Wellington to use as a Temporary Accommodation site. The building at 128 Norfolk has capacity for 68 spaces, common areas, office space for support services and a commercial kitchen.

Why is the County of Wellington involved?

The County of Wellington is one of 47 designated Service System Managers who deliver Housing Services, Ontario Works, and Children's Early Years services on behalf of the Government of Ontario in a specific geographic area. For the County, the geographic area includes Wellington County and Guelph.

The County is involved with this project as part of our responsibilities to plan and manage housing services which includes the delivery and administration of provincially mandated subsidized housing, government-funded affordable housing programmes, as well as initiatives to prevent and respond to experiences of homelessness.

A PLACE TO CALL HOME:

A 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan for Wellington-Guelph

Housing and Homelessness Plans (HHPs) play a critical role in how Service System Managers take action to address housing needs as well as prevent and respond to homelessness locally. 

10-Year Housing & Homelessness Plan

VISION: "Everyone in Wellington-Guelph can find and maintain an appropriate, safe and affordable place to call home."

As the Service System Manager, the County of Wellington is responsible for developing, implementing, and annual reporting on a 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan (HHP). In accordance with the Housing Services Act 2011, Service System Managers are required to:

  • develop HHPs in consultation with community and community partners.
  • ensure that HHP objectives and priorities align with matters of provincial interest as defined in the Housing Services Act (2011) and with 2016 Provincial Policy Statement Directions.
  • take actions and carry out measures to meet objectives and targets related to local housing needs. 

The Wellington-Guelph Housing Continuum and our Housing Services Programmes 

The Wellington-Guelph Housing Continuum illustrates the spectrum of housing options along with local housing programmes across this spectrum. In brief and following along the continuum, our housing programmes include: homelessness prevention strategies such as diversion and rapid rehousing; emergency shelter services; transitional housing; supportive housing programmes as well as subsidized rental housing; government-funded affordable rental housing; and finally, homeownership grants and loans.

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Housing Continuum

How are we working to End Chronic Homelessness in Wellington-Guelph?

Our Service System Manager role includes planning responsibilities, resource allocation, quality assurance and service provision to prevent and address experiences of homelessness.

We take seriously our goal to end chronic homelessness in our community.

Built for Zero (BFZ)

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Built for Zero Canada Logo

Built for Zero-Canada (BFZ-C) is a national movement to end chronic homelessness that was launched as a part of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness following the success of the 20,000 Homes Campaign. The County was a part of the 20,000 Homes Campaign in 2016 and is the Built for Zero–Canada lead for Wellington-Guelph. 

Built for Zero Canada supports communities to develop and implement data-driven approaches that focus on optimizing the local system and services to end chronic homelessness in Wellington-Guelph. Built for Zero sets community milestones, the first of which is establishing a quality By-Name List to ensure reliable, real-time, and consistent data. 

Since joining Built for Zero Canada our community has received national recognition for system change work in the homelessness sector and for our progress towards the goal of ending chronic homelessness. Learn more about Built for Zero Canada - Getting to Zero.

Wellington-Guelph Coordinated Entry System (CES)

A Coordinated Entry System (CES) is a client-centred and standardized process for assessing and prioritizing housing related needs. With the coordinated intake system individuals can access services through any “door agency”.  An effective Coordinated Entry System (CES) streamlines access to housing and supports for individuals and families experiencing and/or at risk of homelessness.

The Wellington-Guelph Coordinated Entry System (CES) was implemented in early 2017 with the goal to improve coordination and service delivery by providing a consistent approach to understanding the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness. Since its implementation, the CES process is used to prioritize an individual’s housing needs, reducing homelessness, and improving the community’s response to homelessness.

The federal government has recently made it a requirement for communities that receive Reaching Home programme funding to implement and maintain a coordinated access system. The County of Wellington is the designated Community Entity for Reaching Home funding in Wellington-Guelph. 

Wellington-Guelph By-Name List (BNL)

A By-Name List (BNL) is a real-time list of all people experiencing homelessness. The BNL helps service providers prioritize need, track the status change as individuals and families move in and out of homelessness and inform action as we move towards ending chronic homelessness in our community. 

Having a BNL is a requirement of Built for Zero and a central component in their data-driven approach to ending homelessness. In late 2017, Wellington-Guelph was the 4th community in Canada to establish a quality By-Name List (BNL).  As the designated lead for the Wellington-Guelph Built for Zero Canada campaign, the County manages our community’s By-Name List.  

In 2021, the Government of Ontario made it a requirement for Service System Managers to implement a By-Name List. With our BNL established years prior to this requirement, our community has worked to develop and refine BNL processes and expand the number of community agencies connected to our coordinated entry system. 
 

Transforming the Housing Stability System in Wellington-Guelph 

Together, with our housing stability system partners we are working to address the challenges that exist within current systems to meet the housing needs of individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness in our community. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted these challenges and has accelerated the pace of system change.

This system transformation work represents the shift away from managing homelessness to ending homelessness by being housing-focused and having health and housing supports available to help community members remain housed wherever possible. Additionally, the system transformation work recognizes that prevention is not always possible and strives to ensure periods of homelessness are as brief as possible and not recurring.

The Housing Stability System includes a continuum of services and supports:
 

Preventing Experiences of Homelessness

Services and supports to prevent homelessness to address areas that can be destabilizing to a household like arrears support, utilities support and other ways to support households to stay in the homes they have.

Emergency Responses to Experiences of Homelessness

Services and supports to address immediate experiences of homelessness including emergency shelter services, outreach for unsheltered individuals, diversion, and rapid-rehousing workers to find alternate housing solutions quick to avoid long duration experiences of homelessness, temporary accommodation services and transitional housing. 

Transitions to and Retention of Housing Placements

Services and supports to assist with housing placements for individuals newly experiencing homelessness and those experiencing chronic homelessness. Supports to access a variety of housing options include rental subsidies in private market rental units, housing placements in social and government-funded affordable housing as well as supportive housing (which includes health and specialized mental health and addictions supports required to respond to complex needs of individuals experiencing homelessness).

Frequently Asked Questions

We expect there to be interest as well as some questions about the Temporary Accommodation Services at 128 Norfolk Street in Guelph. We want to do our best to ensure the community has accurate information about these important support services.