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CONTACT celebrates launch of new website

April 20, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

CONTACT Community Services has launched a new user-friendly website that will provide a professional, warm, and engaging online presence.

The new website was supported by a $150,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilient Communities Grant.

On Apr. 14, CONTACT held a ceremony to officially launch the new site at their Town Square Alliston office.

“We are here to recognize the contribution of the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” explained CONTACT Community Services executive director Emily McIntosh. “We received a Resilient Communities Grant this past year, and it was just so important for our organization in supporting our efforts to recover from COVID-19. We have been working tirelessly to complete our website, and that website is finally finished, and we are here to celebrate the hard work of this past year.”

CONTACT Community Services is a multi-faceted social service agency. It is the housing resource centre for South Simcoe, and they work with people experiencing homelessness or those who are at risk.

“We have added advocacy as part of our core value because we understand that we need to advocate for more diverse solutions to provide housing that is truly affordable,” Ms. McIntosh said. “We are seeing a huge rise in our services because people are in dire straights. Our housing phones are ringing off the hook. It’s really challenging because we don’t have access to inventory. The market threshold – it’s so astronomical, the cost, that sometimes people don’t even qualify even if they find an apartment,” adding “CONTACT Community Services is the primary social service agency in South Simcoe and we do a lot of things for our residents, and there’s a lot of recognition of that – the money will be used responsibly.”

The cost of rentals in the region has skyrocketed over the past few years making it very difficult for many people to pay their rent and have enough left over for other necessities like food and clothing.

One man at the ceremony was a client of CONTACT and thanked the organization for their help when he and his son became homeless. The man said that dealing with a ‘smaller agency’ rather than a big city organization was a key factor for their success, saying he felt lost in the bureaucracy at a bigger organization.

“I just got housed three weeks ago,” he said. “I want to point out how absolutely critical it was that there was a small agency that could accommodate me and my son. I was lost twice in bigger organizations, but here, having a small group of people who can make time for you, and be human, was critical for us to get housed. This place is really really important.”

Several dignitaries arrived to congratulate the CONTACT team for this important step forward.

Brian Saunderson, MPP for Simcoe-Grey, attended. As CONTACT also has an office in Bradford, Bradford West Gwillimbury mayor, James Leduce, attended, as did the Hon. Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York Simcoe.

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