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216 Murray Street (coming in 2022)

Shepherds of Good Hope is building hope in our community.

Shepherds of Good Hope is building a new multi-purpose space located at 216 Murray Street, next to our shelter at 256 King Edward Ave. This new space will house a drop-in program, open 7 days a week, a new community kitchen, and permanent housing for up to 48 people who are currently homeless.

This page will be updated as more information is available on this project. If your question is not answered, please feel free to reach our project team at: 216@sghottawa.com.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is this new building going to contain?
This building will contain a ground-floor drop in program, a community kitchen and up to six floors of supportive housing. This is relocating and enhancing existing services and addressing two critical needs in Lowertown: low barrier drop-in space during the day and evening, and affordable housing.

Who will live in the housing portion of this new building?
Up to 48 individuals currently experiencing homelessness, with a focus on Indigenous individuals and women will live in this residence. These individuals will have the stability and dignity of their own unit, and access to healthcare and other supports on site.

What is the building going to look like?

SGH has engaged the services of local award-winning firm CSV Architects to design the building and outdoor space. Through the design process multiple assessments and studies have been completed including a Cultural Heritage Impact Statement, assessments of the wind and shadows, traffic, noise and soil. Consideration has been given to the materials used and design of the building to complement the local streetscapes.

Will this building include outdoor space?

Yes, outdoor space for the users of the drop-in as well as residents in supportive housing is important. No one wants to be inside all day, especially in our beautiful city! We want to give people a space to socialize and enjoy the outdoors. There will be a private terrace on the second floor for the people who live in the building and there will be a fenced in patio area adjacent to Murray St. This space between 216 Murray and 256 King Edward will provide seating and shade for people using the drop-in, kitchen or shelter to enjoy.

How is this project being funded?
This project is funded through the City of Ottawa and the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative. The total cost of the project will depend on the final design, particularly the final number of suites.

What is the planning process for this project?
SGH has applied for minor variances to current zoning for this site, to increase building height and reduce setback from the road. SGH submitted a final planning application for City approval March 26, 2021. The application has been deemed complete and first review comments are open until April 23. The City has posted a large rezoning sign at the property with information about how to see the full details of the project on the City’s website and where to send your comments. The amendments are expected to go to the City of Ottawa Planning Committee on June 24 and be raised to City Council on July 7.

What is the timeline for the project?
The funding for this project through the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative stipulates the project be completed by December 3, 2021. Construction will take place once zoning amendments are approved and construction permits are issued. The project will use modular or panelized housing, which is constructed off site in a factory and then craned in. This allows for a much faster schedule than traditional construction. We’re expecting that residents will able to move into their new homes in 2022.

How has the local community been engaged with the project?
SGH representatives have done presentations with the following community groups:

• Lowertown Community Association
• Lowertown East Residents’ Committee
• Lowertown Our Home
• Byward Market BIA
• Clarence Gate Condo Association
• 309 Clarence Residents Board

Following a January 11, 2021 presentation to the Lowertown Community Association, SGH and Councillor Fleury’s office also co-hosted a moderated Town Hall information session on February 16, 2021.

Based on feedback from these meetings, the design was changed to include more outdoor space for users of the drop in centre and alterations to the flow of delivery and pick up traffic for the building.

A mailer was sent to 3000 homes in the surrounding area of the development (Nelson to Dalhousie, Bruyere to George) and an article about the development was also in the community newspaper, the Lowertown Echo, which can be found by clicking here.

There is an opportunity for people to make written or oral submissions to the City’s Planning Committee as well.

What specific consultation has SGH done with Indigenous communities?
Shepherds of Good Hope presented to the City of Ottawa’s Aboriginal Community Advisory Board (ACAB) and attends their monthly meetings in order to keep them informed as the project progresses. The ACAB is supportive of the project and represents the following organizations:

• Minwaashin Lodge
• Tewegan Housing for Aboriginal Youth
• Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health
• Tungasuvvingat Inuit (T.I.)
• Gignul Non-Profit Housing
• Odawa Native Friendship Centre

Additionally, SGH engaged an Indigenous architecture and consulting firm, Two Row, to conduct talking circles with Indigenous leaders, service providers and service users, and current supportive housing residents to solicit the community’s feedback.

How will the program impact the community?
People experiencing homelessness in our community often have nowhere to go throughout the day. Our drop-in program will offer them a space where they are welcomed and where they can access supports for 16 hours a day. It will also be available to those who are precariously housed in Lowertown. Security services on site will be increased to 24/7. The building has been designed to provide security staff with maximum sight lines of the sidewalk on Murray Street and the outdoor patio space.

While it is our strong belief that housing and drop in supports provided to Lowertown residents experiencing or at risk of homelessness will lessen security concerns in the neighbourhood, one program or organization will not be the only solution to solving issues as complex as homelessness, substance use disorders and mental illness.

48 people who are currently homeless will have the stability of a home of their own, and a wider number who presently have nowhere to go during the day and evening will have a space where they feel welcome.

Shepherds of Good Hope is fully committed to continuing to work collaboratively with community service organizations like Ottawa Police Services, Bylaw Services and other service providers and community groups to address issues of concern in Lowertown.

What does this new building mean for the emergency shelter capacity?
As part of its 10 Year Plan on Homelessness, the City of Ottawa aims to eliminate chronic homelessness by 2024. Increasing affordable and supportive housing is the key to achieving this. SGH is actively discussing the transformation of our shelter services with the City of Ottawa.

Our commitment is to reduce shelter occupancy by at least the same number of beds as the new development at 216 Murray. Our long term objective is to build on our expertise as a provider of innovative supportive housing, harm reduction and health services. We must ensure that there is capacity within the community to support this transition so that people are not left with nowhere to go. We are confident that our vision is achievable. As these discussions progress, we will be pleased to provide the community with more details.