It's hard to believe, but one year ago today, May 6 2019, was move in day for the first residents of Lucy's Place. After months and months of renovation, our Housing First Community, a first for Simcoe County, was ready!
As we round the corner into our second month of staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we are seeing more than ever how interconnected our lives are. When people do not have a home to stay home in, we are all put at higher risk.
At Redwood, we often say that everyone deserves a safe, affordable, hopeful place to call home and that when that is the case, our entire community benefits. Our team is inspired to double down and make sure that the recovery plan from this pandemic includes housing for all, and that no one gets left behind.
So, this is an open call to investors, policymakers, philanthropists, and developers who want to partner with us to make this possible. Watch this video for more from Tim:
We want to share Redwood's response to COVID-19 with the community.
As you are aware, this is a rapidly evolving situation, and the responses that made sense even three or four days ago are no longer in line with public health recommendations. We will adapt as needed, following recommendations of the Simcoe Muskoka Public Health Unit, the Government of Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Taking care of our friends who live with us
Redwood's commitment is to provide safe, affordable, hopeful housing in supportive community. Here's what that looks like in a pandemic:
The end of a year, and in this case the end of a decade, is a natural opportunity to pause and reflect.
Six months ago, we started Redwood Furniture Bank.
Back in June, we put some excellent partnerships and supports in place, secured some warehouse space, and started asking for furniture donations. Soon, we were ready to start sending furniture back out the door to help people.
by Alison LaMantia, Redwood supporter
After having the chance to chat face to face with Rhonda, Director of Housing and Family Support at Redwood Park Communities, I walked away wondering how some people become so full of goodness.
I thought how interesting it’d be to study people like Rhonda so we can understand more about what leads to such selfless humanity.
I’m curious because I think we need more of that in our world — more whole-hearted, non-judgmental love for all humans.
We are very happy to share this guest blog post by Noelle Kirk, where she shares about her personal experience volunteering with Redwood.
Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying “Only a life lived for others is worth living” and I couldn’t agree more. Over the last 5 years, my role and involvement with Redwood has been a varied one. I have cleaned apartments, delivered food, gathered clothing or donations (and served as a very unqualified stylist), washed dishes, babysat children, eaten delicious food and shared many a cup of coffee or tea.
One thing that has been constant however, is that many of my best memories have been made, and continue to be made, over food and around the table. Whether it was stirring chocolate over a stove during an Easter chocolate making event or drinking coffee and holding babies while sitting around the living room at United House, I have so many beautiful memories of food and community.
One could wonder, why would Redwood start its own Furniture Bank?
We've got not just one good reason, but two.
Later this month, Redwood will launch Barrie's first YIMBY week, and all YIMBYers are invited!
YIMBY stands for "Yes In My Back Yard" and it is a social movement that has risen up in cities all over North America to combat NIMBYism, or "Not In My Back Yard."
Most people agree that homelessness is a shame, and that affordable housing needs to be developed, but some people say, "Yes, somewhere else, but not here."
(You know, YSWEBNH ...just kidding, that's not a thing.)
The YIMBY movement looks a little different in each city. In some places it involves activism around zoning bylaws. But we think the REAL reason people don't want "other" people in their neighbourhood is because they just don't know them yet.