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Services for vulnerable residents expand at Blue Door, thanks to $149K grant

February 16, 2022
February 16th, 2022. By: Michele Weisz,, Original Article. 
Blue Door
Ontario Trillium Foundation pandemic program helped York Region shelter meet rising costs, increased need of individuals facing homelessness and poverty, CEO says.
Blue Door

Blue Door had been able to expand its Health Hub, which provides physical and mental health supports for vulnerable people who lack access to primary care physicians, thanks to funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

With reduced numbers of volunteers and rising costs as a result of the COVID-pandemic, the $149,800 grant in 2020 has helped Blue Door to begin recovering and continue supporting individuals struggling with homelessness and poverty, Blue Door CEO Michael Braithwaite said in a news release.

“This grant has helped our teams tremendously. With more opportunities for increased funding and a focus on staff well-being and safety, we’ve been able to provide the urgently needed support for those facing poverty and homelessness in York Region during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Braithwaite said.

The grant also supported the purchase of health and safety equipment to adapt services, including professional sanitizing and cleaning, and portable physical distancing screens in emergency housing programs, Rachael Sedman, Blue Door senior manager of resource development, said in an email.

With the increased funds, Blue Door was able to hire a fundraising coordinator and human resources coordinator.

York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney toured the agency this month met to learn about the impact of the Resilient Communities Fund grant over the last year.

“Blue Door has provided emergency housing for the homeless population of York Region since 1982 and our government recognizes the importance of supporting local projects like this to ensure vulnerable individuals have access to safe housing during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” Mulroney said. “The nearly $150,000 in funding can be used for a range of innovative and inspiring initiatives that will ensure those who need a place to call home have one.”

The Resilient Communities Fund grant program was developed by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help non-profits rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Last year, nearly $112 million was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector.