Project Tiny Hope

Tiny homes with a BIG vision

YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin is thrilled to be partnering with Sanctuary Homes and Doug Tarry Homes to create new affordable housing in downtown St. Thomas.  Our collaborative project is known as Project Tiny Hope and we are committed to building tiny homes that foster community and a sense of belonging. 

Since 1928 the YWCA has been providing housing with supports that empower women in St. Thomas-Elgin.  Today we operate four youth homes, a woman’s residence, a men’s residence and five scattered site apartments.  We are dedicated to providing intensive supports and services reflective of each unique resident to build housing stability and wellness.  We are eager to expand our housing services to include 40 new rental units at 21 Kains Street. 

TinyHope_artisit rendering
Tiny Hope Gardens

The Need in our Community

Like many communities across Canada, we are experiencing a housing crisis with a lack of affordable rental units.  With increasing rental rates and limited housing stock, many individuals and families find themselves living in substandard conditions, couch surfing or accessing shelter. With the cost of living increasing families are forced to make the impossible decision of buying food or paying rent.  Our community desperately needs to create new supportive housing options that are affordable and adequate.  Our new build at 21 Kains Street will provide stable housing with personalized supports to build life stabilization as the foundation to build upon other goals such as economic security, wellness and community connectedness.

Affordable Housing at 21 Kains Street

The creation of new YWCA rental units will be inclusive to diverse populations from all walks of life.  A mix of one, two and three bedroom rental units will accommodate adults, youth and families. Each tiny home will be equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom, laundry, private bedrooms and living room providing dignity and comfort. Our tiny homes will be built to net zero ready standard providing a far more energy efficient and less expensive home to operate. These homes are healthier, quieter and more comfortable. Doug Tarry Homes will be the lead builder for our housing expansion and with their knowledge and expertise these homes will be both comfortable and beautiful. 

A YWCA Program House will be central to the property. The facility will be a shared experience with gathering spaces, meeting rooms and a collective learning kitchen accessible to all residents. This welcoming Program House will provide an inviting spot for residents to gather, attend programs, socialize, and connect with other residents or visitors.

YWCA Services and Supports

Our residents will come from all walks of life and as such, those who may require case management will be supported by their existing support services or if needed, introduced to a YWCA support with a focus on housing stability and personal well-being.  The YWCA will offer case management, system navigation, life skill development, community building events and opportunities to participate in group-based programming such as: financial literacy, food security or skills training.

Application Process

Our application process is not yet open, please check back in the future for details and keep an eye on our social media.

Project Partners

YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin

The ​YWCA has been operating in Elgin County since 1902. In 1928 the YWCA began construction of a permanent home at the corner of Mary and Curtis Street and with the new building came the Women’s Residence Program.  The YWCA invests in community partnerships and innovative strategies to end youth and adult homelessness including the operation of 4 youth homes, 2 adult residences and providing all residents with intensive case management.  As a leader in housing-based case management the YWCA has taken the lead role in the development and implementation of the St. Thomas-Elgin Youth Homelessness Protocol and is leading the way on a community development project focused on ending women’s homelessness.

Sanctuary Homes

SANCTUARY HOMES was established in 2014 by a group of concerned Elgin County citizens who were and remain interested in addressing issues of poverty, homelessness, and adequate housing.  As a local, not for profit, faith-based group they strive to provide affordable, safe housing in a supportive community environment with appropriate community resources to improve and sustain the wellbeing of marginalized populations.

Doug Tarry Limited

DOUG TARRY LIMITED (DTL) has been providing housing to individuals and families in St. Thomas since 1954.  DTL has spearheaded several philanthropic ventures in an effort to give back to the community and beyond such as the St. Thomas Elevated Park, The Angus McKenzie Trail and Project Hope which is highlighted in this video. DTL recognizes the state of urgency to provide residents of St. Thomas-Elgin area with more affordable housing options. As a recognized leader in the building industry and a member of several provincial and national decision making tables DTL provides expertise, knowledge and innovation.

Project Tiny Hope Capital Campaign Committee Members:
Bryan White, Andrew Gunn, Laurie Intven, Andrea Hayes, Mary Jane Ferriman, Marla Champion, Sarah Lounsbury and Lindsay Rice

Please note, donations of $1,000 or higher will be recognized on our website and social media unless otherwise notified. 

Project Donors & Pledges

$3 Million

city of St.Thomas

$1 Million

Doug Tarry Homes

$500,000 – $999,999

The McLorn Family Estate

$250,000 – $499,999

Sanctuary Homes

The Sweetgrass Fund within the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation

Elgin St.Thomas Community Foundation

$150,000 – $249,999

Ardent Industries Ltd

Ardent Industries and The White Family

$100,000 – $149,999

The Barrie Family Community Fund within the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation

Elgin St.Thomas Community Foundation

$50,000 – $99,999

The Don and Helen Black Fund within the Elgin St.Thomas Community Foundation

Elgin St.Thomas Community Foundation
Canadale Nurseries
CJDL Consulting Engineers
Geerlinks Home Hardware
St Thomas Kinsmen Club
Lafarge Canada Inc

$10,000 – $49,999

Diana House
Don and Hazel Williams Foundation
Donna Kerrigan – In memory of Beatrix Horn
Duggie and Ted Gill
Grace and Gerald Schipper
Joan and Matthew Janes
Julia and  Kirk Maltby
Laurie and Charlie Nagge

Adobe Home Comfort
Building Knowledge Canada Inc
Elgin Carpet One Floor and Home
Libro Credit Union St.Thomas
LP Building Solutions
James Hardie Building Products
Owens Corning
Presstran Magna
VDK Group Inc

$1,000 – $9,999

Air Solutions Inc
Alexander Purcell
Altus Group Limited
Anne Thompson and Mike Reardon
Ashley Dunn
Canadian Home Builders Association – In honour of Stefanie Coleman
Cathy and Greg Grondin
Central United Church
Cindy and Dave Reid
Convoy Supply LTD
Debbie Hamilton & Associates Ltd – Cooperators
Devonshire Consulting
Donna Kraft
Enbridge Gas Inc
Fanshawe College Urban 360 Lab
Graphenstone Canada
Helen and Gerald Phillips
Home Tight Air Sealing
HVAC Delineation Inc.
Jack Ferriman
Judy and Robert Upsdell
Knox Presbyterian Church Women’s Club
Krista and Jon Seabrook
Kiwanis Club of St.Thomas – Golden K
Kiwanis Club Endowment Fund through Elgin St.Thomas Community Foundation
Kyle Ewart
Lions Club of Port Stanley
Lions Club of St.Thomas
Liz and David Currie
Locky Lane Visual Design
Mary Jane Ferriman
Municipal Retirees Organization of Ontario
Optimist Club Talbotville
Pauline and James Kennedy
Presstran Industries
Rick Harper – in memory of Marlene Harper
Royal Canadian Legion St.Thomas – Branch 41
Royal LePage Charity BBQ
Shedden Oddfellows #310
St.Thomas Oddfellows #76
Sine B Herold
Stefanie Coleman & John Bos
Stirling Chapter IODE
Supreme Bebekah Lodge
Tammy Kennedy
The Forever Legacy Foundation
Vachstock proceeds from The Clearing

How can you be involved?

We are thrilled to be contributing to the growth of essential housing stock in our community and building on our housing stability services! Tiny Hope will be a turning point program for the youth, adults and families who reside with us and together we will create opportunity for wellbeing and stability. 

If you wish to speak to us about this project and learn how you or your group can help, you are welcome to complete the form below or call (519) 631-9800.

Please note inquiries will be reviewed within 3-4 business days.

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