Housing

The Shelter Program on Simcoe Street provides 24 hour emergency shelter to men aged 16 years and above who are currently homeless. The shelter program acts as an entry point to all the services offered throughout our organization. While residing in the shelter, guests are provided with all their basic needs including: a bed and linens, 3 meals a day plus an evening snack, hygiene supplies, laundry services and transportation assistance.  Other services that are offered include assistance securing a source of income, housing search assistance, referrals to community resources, crisis supports, and identification replacement.

All guests are entitled to 7 days of emergency stay. While every situation is unique and therefore everyone is assessed on an individualized basis, as a general guideline for services to continue beyond 7 days guests must meet the following requirements:

  • meet with our housing worker
  • work with us to make arrangements with Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Payments, or other sources of income
  • be actively looking for housing
  • secure 75% of income to save towards housing

Households requiring temporary/emergency accommodation may be referred to the emergency shelter and support program for families.

Cornerstone partners with a variety of motels across the Durham Region to provide families facing homelessness with temporary accommodations.  Participants of the program then work one on one with a Community and Family Case Manager to reach their goals.  Some goals include; securing housing, income security, obtaining child care, food security, community referrals, medical needs, and any other supports the family may require.

Eligibility for this program includes:

  • single fathers with dependent children without a "dwelling place" and who cannot be accommodated by area hostel/shelter operators
  • couples with dependent children
  • two person households/couples who are living together and who cannot be separated due to health or other extenuating circumstances
  • single person household with extraordinary medical circumstances, whose confirmed medical condition would place the individual or other hostel residents at risk if referred to a shared living environment (i.e. confirmed contagious health condition)
  • families must be financially ineligible to afford alternative emergency accommodations
  • the eviction must be immediate (i.e. sheriff is coming the day they are accessing emergency accommodations)
  • the previous dwelling place was a Durham Region residence
  • all household members have legal status in Canada, have applied for legal status in Canada, or are refugee claimants
  • no member of the household is under a removal order to leave Canada
  • the total household assets are within the allowable limits
  • the total gross household income is within the allowable limits

To access the program during business hours call 905-438-0254, ext. 344, and after business hours call 905-433-0254 ext. 228

Our transitional housing has a compliment of ten bachelor units. All of the units are rent-geared-to-income units and are located at our Simcoe Street location. These are very simple units that begin the transition toward greater independent living, housing stability and tenancy. Individuals can then  transition to apartments with all the amenities. The supports provided to our transitional tenants are available twenty-four hours a day and are generally more intensive as this is their first step in the continuum.

Commonly referred to as correctional housing or halfway houses, Cornerstone supports inmates after they have served their time in incarceration. Our residential facility (Community Residential Facility or CRF) has 15 beds to house male federal offenders. As a continuum of correctional services, Cornerstone’s CRF provides these individuals with twenty-four hour supervision as well as general counselling. Through rehabilitative care and innovative programming that is tailored to the needs of the residents, Cornerstone creates an important bridge between institutional care and the community.

Under the guidance of a CRF Coordinator and Case Worker, the goal is to re-integrate each individual back into their home community (usually Durham). Supports include: 

  • employment counselling

  • addiction and mental health supports

  • educational upgrading

  • connections with Ontario Works

  • working with the Cornerstone outreach team

  • 3 meals a day plus an evening snack

  • a daily living allowance if not currently employed. 


Research has shown that halfway houses do not contribute to increased crime rates or to decreased property values. The vast majority of individuals who re-enter the community through a halfway house successfully complete their stays. Further, recidivism rates are low for individuals who have been gradually released into the community.

Click here to see our CRF Expectations.

Click here to see our CRF Application Form.

VOICES Support Group.

Operating within the mission and mandate of Cornerstone Community Association, VOICES support group exists to provide a positive space for women to connect and to heal from the devastating effects of a loved one who was historically or is currently involved in the criminal justice system by incorporating our three core values: confidentiality, hope and non-judgement. 

Andrea Kilgour and Karen MacKinnon are the facilitators of VOICES Support Group for Women. This support group reaches the unrecognized victims of crime - the families of offenders, by providing a safe, non-judgemental and confidential environment for women to share their thoughts, feelings and struggles of having an incarcerated loved one and to be source of support, encouragement and hope to one another. 

 

Permanent Rent-Geared-To-Income Supportive Housing

Our clients are eligible to transfer from the transitional program to more permanent rent-geared-to income self-contained apartments, based on seniority, the ability to live independently and choice. For these tenants, Cornerstone offers housing that is 100% rent-geared-to-income. Support services are solely driven by the tenant’s needs.  

 

Locations:

  • 18 self-contained apartments on Simcoe Street. The apartments are located right above the shelter and the tenants have access to a full time support staff person and 24-hour support through our intake staff. 
  • For men and women, our 454 Bloor Street East location has twenty-four one bedroom apartments and four two bedroom apartments. Tenants were involved in the development of this building, fulfilling a community response to homelessness in partnership with the YWCA and CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). Some of the apartments are co-managed by the YMCA, CMHA and Cornerstone.
  • For very independent clients we also offer 18 other units in mixed rental buildings in Whitby and Oshawa which are awarded based on seniority and the ability to live independently with very little support.