The Ontario government is investing over $2.5 million to give people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless the housing and support services they need.

With the help of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre will build 17 new apartments for Indigenous people and offer services such as addiction counselling, cultural services and mental health supports.

Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services is a corporation with a mandate to provide safe and affordable housing to urban and rural First Nation, Inuit and Métis people living off-Reserve in Ontario.

“Our government is committed to working with local Indigenous Program Administrators to deliver programs for Indigenous people living off-Reserve,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This year, we are investing more than $13 million to help Indigenous individuals and families all across the province access the housing and services they need.”

The new apartment building, to be located across Cassells Street in North Bay from the Indigenous Friendship Centre, is expected to open next year.

Mayor Al McDonald thanked Minister Clark for the funding. He added, “This $6 million project is a reality thanks to the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre. Congratulations to Kathy Fortin, her Board and her members that truly made this project happen. Housing is a critical component of growing our city.”

“Our government is proud to work with Indigenous service providers to provide quality off-Reserve affordable and supportive housing,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and MPP for Nipissing. “Once complete, this new facility will provide both a home and the supports people need, in a way that respects Indigenous cultures and beliefs.”