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Region of Waterloo buys emergency shelter in downtown Kitchener

84 Frederick St. in Kitchener. (Source: Google Maps) 84 Frederick St. in Kitchener. (Source: Google Maps)

Emergency shelter supports will continue in downtown Kitchener as the Region of Waterloo has agreed to buy a YW Kitchener-Waterloo property.

The Region of Waterloo approved the purchase of 84 Frederick St., across the street from the Waterloo Region Courthouse. Currently, the building operates as a shelter for women and non-binary people.

YW Kitchener-Waterloo owns the building and the deal is expected to be finalized as of July 1.

“The purchase of 84 Frederick Street ensures we maintain flexibility in responding to the need for increased housing supports across the board. This is an investment in our future,” Regional Chair Karen Redman said in a press release.

The region plans to continue operating the facility as a shelter.

YW Kitchener-Waterloo said they were approached by the region as they began to explore plans to sell the building as part of their plans to revamp some of their services.

“We decided to sell the building. Our community partners, the Region of Waterloo, reached out and they asked us if we would be interested in selling to them so that we could keep this property in the public space. It was something we were very interested in exploring, and we’re really thrilled that it’s worked out,” CEO of YW Kitchener-Waterloo Jennifer Breaton said in an interview on Friday.

The YW shelter will officially close on June 27. In the meantime, the organization is trying to connect shelter users with other living arrangements and supports.

YW will continue looking at new ways to offer support to people in need.

“Over the past year we’ve been working with women that we supported at the shelter, and I would say perhaps as importantly, women who have not accessed our shelter, to help design what new services look like. They’re going to include wrap-around supports, they’re going to included probably two or three distinct sites that are much smaller in nature,” Breaton said.

As they prepare to close this chapter, Breaton reflected on the long history of the building.

“The YW Emergency Shelter has been operating as a shelter in some capacity since 1908. It’s been an incredible pillar in our community. Many people have had experiences with our shelter over the years. So it’s a monumental building.” Top Stories

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