Big Changes Coming to a Well-Known Shelter in Mississauga

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It's no secret that Mississauga—and the entire Region of Peel—has been suffering from a lack of resources (particularly shelters) when it comes to housing and assisting some of the community's most vulnerable members.

Fortunately, it appears that some progress is being made, as a long-standing shelter for women and children facing domestic violence is about to receive an influx of money that will essentially double its capacity.

The Mississauga-based Armagh House, the region's lone transitional housing facility for female victims of domestic violence and their children, is receiving $5,255,862 from the Region of Peel.

Armagh will also receive $200,000 annually beginning in 2019, an amount allocated from the Provincial Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI).

As of now, Armagh—which only offers nine units to vulnerable residents—is the only shelter in Peel that exclusively serves women and children affected by violence. The additional funding will allow Armagh to offer an additional 10 two-bedroom spaces, increasing capacity to 19 units.

Clients are referred to Armagh directly from the emergency shelter system and also through the domestic violence team at Peel Children's Aid Society.

According to the region, families who take shelter at Armagh, a not-for-profit organization that's been serving Peel for 25 years, are provided with stable housing for up to one year and a variety of programs and support services that are designed to increase their self-sufficiency.

Support services include trauma counselling and financial and life skills training. The region says clients can also access other supports that are tailored to the family's individual needs—something it says increases the success rate and lowers the potential of reunification with the abuser.

Since 2011, Armagh received 372 referrals and was able to house 109 families. Out of the 109 families supported, Armagh says it is aware of only one that chose to return to the previous relationship.

The region says the new addition is approximately 16,146 square feet on three levels. The ground floor and second level houses the residential units, while the basement area will include non-residential programming space and common areas for the families.

Construction costs for the 10 residential units are estimated at $3,011,028, which equates to $301,103 for each new two-bedroom unit. The non-residential costs for the project have been estimated at $975,427, which includes the basement level, laundry room, common areas, support service programming areas, outdoor playground area and an elevator for the project to meet accessibility requirements.

The renovation is expected take up to 12 months, meaning the new units will be ready by fall of 2019.

For more info about Armagh House, click here.

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