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Blue Door opening supportive housing for senior men in Newmarket

November 28, 2023

Posted on: November 26th, 2023. By: Joseph Quigley,, Original Article.

A new supportive housing facility in Newmarket will help transition senior men from the streets to more permanent housing.

Housing charity Blue Door unveiled the newly renovated house for its Forward program, which seeks to provide tailored support for up to five senior men at a time to transition from homelessness and find independent housing.

Blue Door chief operating officer Emily Kelly said the charity believes diverse solutions are needed to address homelessness. 

“To make change, we have to focus on individual needs. There’s no blanket solution to everybody’s needs,” she said.  

The initiative was funded in collaboration with United Way Greater Toronto, through dollars provided with the federal government’s homelessness strategy. Using that, Blue Door purchased the home in Newmarket, with its construction branch Construct doing extensive renovations. The house now has five units that will provide supportive housing to five senior men.

Kelly said that stays in the home will average about a year. During that time, residents will receive personalized case management to empower them toward better health, education and employment prospects.

“Our community housing team will be able to visit and provide support as needed for every individual,” Kelly said. 

The program came about in 2020 during the pandemic, when Blue Door saw the strain on senior men in the community, and that there was a need for a service.

United Way Greater Toronto director of community service investments Adaoma Patterson said the organization is proud to support Blue Door. She added partnerships like this one are vital.

“We must work together,” she said. “To reduce and solve homelessness in York Region, in the Greater Toronto Area and Canada.”

Blue Door’s Construct, a social enterprise, provides construction services, subsidized training and apprenticeship, with many recruits coming from vulnerable positions like homelessness. 

The site offered a hands-on training opportunity for Construct students. Construct training supervisor Megan Way said she was blown away by the work done at the new home by the people she helped train.

“It’s a beautiful home,” she said. “They worked so hard to make that happen. It’s a real honour to be a part of that.” 

The unveiling event on Nov. 24 featured dignitaries and representatives from all the organizations that took part in making the home happen.

Kelly said that “everyone deserves a safe place to call home.”