MORRISBURG – The new South Dundas Community Hub and Warming Centre is now open here in Morrisburg, thanks to the efforts of The House of Lazarus and its community partners, especially the Anglican Parish of South Dundas.
The Community Hub and Warming Centre opened Monday morning in the Anglican Church Rectory with HOL hosting its first Drop-in centre at what will be its new location. (The Morrisburg HOL drop-in centre had previously taken place weekly at Motion Church on Lakeshore Drive.)
Now at its 22 High Street location, the drop-in centre is open Mondays from 8:30-11 a.m. and provides breakfast and scheduled activities for anyone interested in dropping in.
Recognizing the lack of transitional and emergency housing in Dundas County, the South Dundas Community Hub and Warming Centre was created in partnership with the Anglican Parish of South Dundas. The Hub is available to anyone in need from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“During the winter of 2021 and throughout 2022, House of Lazarus encountered homeless and precariously housed individuals and families on an ongoing basis. In the past year we have encountered 22 people who were homeless and another 15 who were precariously housed and at high risk of becoming homeless in Dundas County,” HOL’s Linking Hands Coordinator Kristina McDermott said. “The Anglican Parish of South Dundas (St. James Church, Morrisburg) offered their rectory as a warming centre for the winter months.”
“We’re excited to have this pilot project get started in the rectory, and for it to be used to meet people’s needs here in our community,” said Reverend Mark Lewis.
Providing a welcoming space and a place for people to access what they need while maintaining their respect and dignity, fits well with the parish’s community outreach mission.
The South Dundas Community Hub and Warming Centre’s current partners include the Roy McMurtry Legal Clinic, United Way SDG (Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry), and Naomi’s Family Resource Centre.
HOL is looking for additional community partners who may need office or meeting space in South Dundas to join the Hub.
“This Centre will provide the homeless with safe space to go to during the day, as well as providing community agencies with office and meeting space,” McDermott said. “The community agencies and programs that will be targeted to operate out of the Centre will have expertise in working with the vulnerable population, as well as being able to provide resources to the homeless.”
The hub will provide a safe and warm place during the winter months to rest, the opportunity for human connection, a chance for a warm meal, a hot shower and laundry facilities as well as housing supports and the opportunity to meet with agencies in Dundas County which eliminates the barrier of having no transportation to get to Cornwall.
While HOL is pursuing potential grants to assist in funding the program, both monetary and in-kind donations are welcome. Those interested in assisting or becoming part of the Hub can contact HOL (firstname.lastname@example.org or HOL Executive Director Cathy Ashby email@example.com or 613-989-3830.)