“Strengthen the Core” Progress as City Homelessness and Housing Help Hub Expands Services in Downtown Windsor

City Council, working in lockstep with community partner organizations in support of the Strengthen the Core: Downtown Windsor Revitalization Plan, has unanimously endorsed and supported an expansion of hours at the City’s Homelessness and Housing Help Hub (H4), from 8:00 a.m. to midnight, seven days per week, including holidays.

The increase of hours at the H4 will now include an expansion of amenities offered at the site, including but not limited to the following:

  • Providing a hot meal for those experiencing homelessness
  • Expansion of healthcare supports onsite seven days per week
  • Collaboration with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Windsor-Essex County Branch to increase allied health professionals onsite during the evening hours from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, seven days per week (starting in July 2024)
  • Introduction of shower facilities (starting in midsummer 2024).
  • Introduction of public computers to increase access to technology (starting in midsummer 2024)
  • Increased recreation programming

In May 2024, City Council unanimously endorsed and approved the $3.2 million Strengthen the Core: Downtown Windsor Revitalization Plan to address safety and security, increase the number of businesses, attract new residents and visitors, and make significant improvements to the city’s core. The plan’s third initial action item, Healthy Spaces, identified an opportunity to extend the H4 hours of operation to ensure people who are unhoused have a facility they can access prior to the opening of overnight shelters, and to better support people experiencing mental health and/or addiction crises. $1.47 million is being invested (prorated for this year) through the plan to support this expansion of hours and additional amenities at the H4.

“Building on the success of the current H4, the City of Windsor continues to actively work on the next steps to secure the permanent location for this vital hub of services and supports for vulnerable populations. The future H4 site will offer 64 units of high supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness, mental health and addictions. While work is underway to bring that site to life, City Council is investing in this expansion of hours and amenities where it is needed right now. Importantly, this includes working with partners to deliver primary healthcare supports, including the expansion of onsite physicians and nursing support through collaboration with the Canadian Mental Health Association. We said that we would focus on creating sustainable healthy spaces as part of the Strengthen the Core strategy, and we are committed to Building Windsor’s Future in a way that ensures no one is left behind.”

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

From April 2020 through to April 2024, over 4,000 unique individuals have accessed supports and services at the H4, and over 300 households have obtained housing. Currently, the City averages about 85 people per day from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.

The City of Windsor acknowledges that the success of the H4 program can only be made possible through strong partnerships with community organizations to support those who are most vulnerable in our community. These partners include but are not limited to the following:

  • Housing Information Services
  • Canadian Mental Health Association – Windsor-Essex County Branch
  • Windsor Essex Community Health Centre
  • Windsor Essex Family Health Team
  • Family Services Windsor Essex
  • Probation & Parole
  • John Howard Society
  • Legal Assistance of Windsor
  • Brentwood Recovery Centre
  • Pozitive Pathways
  • Can Am Indian Friendship Centre
  • New Beginnings