Shawenim Abinoojii Inc. has recently purchased 126/140 Alfred Avenue, an abandoned building in the North Point Douglas community. Our vision is to revitalize this apartment to become affordable housing for youth and young adults, including young families, impacted by the Child Welfare System. We hope to reinvigorate life into this beautiful property while providing a critical resource for our young people. Construction is set to begin in April 2021.
This apartment will fall under the Memengoo Program area of SAI; Memengoo is the Anishinaabe word for “Butterfly”. The program offers transitional supports for youth in and from SECFS care, with a priority for those who are at risk of homelessness. SAI strives to be an active part of solutions to address homelessness by offering housing, programming, and participating in our community.
Our work is done in collaboration with our Board of Directors, Southeast Child & Family Services, and our Southeast First Nations community leadership.
Once completed, this project will offer 18 apartments to youth and young adults in and from care. We will also have on-site supports, available to tenants as well as to Memengoo participants living in the community. This will include group life skills and cultural programming, employment programming, one-on-one supports, and basic needs resources. Priority will be given to Southeast First Nations community members. We will provide updates directly to our partners when we are ready to begin accepting referrals.
SAI acknowledges that youth exiting agency care are at heightened risk of experiencing homelessness. This is related to the lack of resources and affordable housing for youth that are leaving care. There are a wide range of supports that can be put in place to help prevent youth homelessness such as affordable housing, training/employment opportunities, and ongoing transition supports. We plan to invest in solutions to address these important needs.