Project Tiny Hope

Tiny homes with a BIG vision

We are 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 we have provided 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.

Tiny Hope Site Overview_2024
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.

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.  We 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.


Applications will not be accepted through the YWCA as those already on existing affordable housing lists through YWCA and the City of St.Thomas will be considered as a priority. 

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.

Please note, donations of $1,000 or higher will be recognized on our website and social media unless otherwise notified. Online donations accepted up to $999. For donations greater than this amount, you may provide e-transfer to, donate by cheque to ‘YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin’ or in person at our main office. 

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

Circle of Hope Leaders

We are honoured to recognize our Circle of Hope Leaders who have contributed $10,000 or more to Project Tiny Hope. You are champions in our community and see first-hand the impact of your support. An investment in affordable housing is an investment in the future of St.Thomas. 

Project Donors & Pledges

$3 Million

city of St.Thomas

$1+ Million

Doug Tarry Homes


The McLorn Family Estate

$250,000 – $499,999

Sanctuary Homes

The Sweetgrass Fund within the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation

Elgin StThomas 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 StThomas Community Foundation

$50,000 – $99,999

Canadale Nurseries
CJDL Consulting Engineers
Cooperators_Debbie Hamilton

Debbie Hamilton & Associates Ltd

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

Elgin St.Thomas Community Foundation
Geerlinks Home Hardware
Owens Corning
St Thomas Kinsmen Club
Lafarge Canada Inc

Landscape Installation Partners: Beamish Landscape Services, Kettle Creek Landscaping, Peeters Landscaping, Second Nature Landscaping & Sparta Tree Spade


$10,000 – $49,999

Brynne Spence-Coleman: Daphne Spence Memorial Run & Volleyball Tournament
Cindy and Dave Reid
Diana House
Don and Hazel Williams Charitable Foundation
Donna Kerrigan – In memory of Beatrix Horn
Duggie and Ted Gill
Estate of Marianne Barrie
Estate of Shirley Broadbent
Grace and Gerald Schipper
Joan and Matthew Janes
Julia and  Kirk Maltby
Laurie and Charlie Nagge
Louise and Jack Ferriman
Lynn Disbrowe – in memory of George and Peter Disbrowe
Sine Herold
St.Thomas Anglican Church and in memory of George and Cela Sloan
St.Thomas Rotary Club
Adobe Home Comfort
Building Knowledge Canada Inc
Elgin Carpet One Floor and Home
James Hardie Building Products

& Convoy Supply

Kielstra Siding & Windows
Libro Credit Union St.Thomas
LP Building Solutions
London St Thomas Association of Realtors
Presstran Magna
Verbeek Kitchens
VDK Group Inc

$1,000 – $9,999

Air Solutions Inc
Alexander Purcell
Altus Group Limited
Anne Thompson and Mike Reardon
Ashley Dunn
Belmont Swans Club
BPLM Limited
Canadian Home Builders Association – In honour of Stefanie Coleman
Cathy and Greg Grondin
Central United Church
Devonshire Consulting
DHP Homes
Donald Shaw in memory of Reverend Robert Shaw
Donna Kraft
Fanshawe College Urban 360 Lab
Fellowship Christian Reformed Church
Goodwill’s Used Cars
Graphenstone Canada
Helen and Gerald Phillips
Home Tight Air Sealing
HVAC Delineation Inc.
Impressions Printing
Judy and Robert Upsdell
Kelley Armstrong – K.L.A. Fricke Inc
Kellie Scott
Kenny Insurance Brokers Ltd
Kiwanis Club of St.Thomas-Golden K
Knox Presbyterian Church Women’s Club
Krista and Jon Seabrook
Kiwanis Club Endowment Fund within the Elgin St.Thomas Community Foundation
Kyle Ewart
Koolen Electric
Leigh Graham Loreto
Lions Club of Port Stanley
Lioness Club of Port Stanley
Lions Club of St.Thomas

Liz and David Currie
Locky Lane Visual Design
Lori and Joel Kielstra
Louis Beneteau
Margaret Carroll
Mary Jane Ferriman
Mary Rutten
McBain Signs & Graphic Design
Monique and Malcolm Wood
Municipal Retirees Organization of Ontario
Pharmasave – Elgin Mall Pharmacy
Pharmasave – Shedden Pharmacy
Retired Women Teachers of Ontario
Rick Harper – in memory of Marlene Harper
Royal Canadian Legion St.Thomas – Branch 41
Royal LePage Triland Realty
Sharon Battley
Shedden Oddfellows #310
St.Thomas Elgin Home Builders’ Association
St.Thomas Oddfellows #76
Stefanie Coleman and John Bos
Stirling Chapter IODE
Supreme Rebekah Lodge
Talbotville Optimist Club
Tammy Kennedy
The Clearing
The Forever Legacy Foundation
Van Simpson

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