YWCA Elm Centre: Celebrating Construction, Cementing Relationships

TORONTO, Sept. 21 /CNW/ - On Tuesday September 22, at 9:30am at 170 Elizabeth Street, YWCA Toronto will host a celebration to mark the beginning of construction of the YWCA Elm Centre, an $80 million complex in the heart of the city, and to launch their No Place Like Elm fundraising campaign.

"There is a lot to celebrate. Construction has begun, and we have received tremendous support from all corners of the community to help us end homelessness. As we kick-off this campaign, we are also determined to raise awareness of the thousands of women and their families who are struggling to pay the rent, living on or close to the street, or relying on others for a place to sleep," said Heather McGregor, YWCA CEO.

YWCA Elm Centre will provide permanent, affordable and supportive apartments for 300 women and their families when the project is complete. As part of the event YWCA will set up sidewalk installations at the corners of Elm and Elizabeth Streets, to illustrate where three women might sleep at night - women who could live at YWCA Elm Centre. The celebration will include an introduction of the many project partners, including Wigwamen Incorporated and The Jean Tweed Centre, lead donors and key stakeholders.

"The Government of Canada, through the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program, is pleased to be a supporter of the YWCA Elm Centre which will provide women and children with the help they need to start a new chapter in their lives," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. "Projects like this highlight the benefits of successful partnerships and we are committed to working with all levels of government and our community partners to help Canadians with a hand up in their time of need."

The following people will speak at the event: His Worship Mayor David Miller; Member of Parliament Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina); David Livingston, Infrastructure Ontario; Barbara Hall, Ontario Human Rights Commission Chief Commissioner; Dr.Robert Howard, President & Chief Executive Officer St. Michael's Hospital; No Place Like Elm Campaign Co Chairs Arlene Perly Rae and Diane Walker.

YWCA Elm Centre donors and special guests will be invited to add a splash of colour to the cement for the Elm Centre foundation.

The YWCA Elm Centre is set to become a hub in the downtown core, featuring a 200 seat auditorium, meeting rooms, a reception hall, a women's resource centre, retail space, and a restaurant. YWCA Toronto's administrative headquarters will relocate to the YWCA Elm Centre, which will also become the new home of YWCA Canada.

YWCA Toronto is our city's trusted multiservice organization by, for and about women and girls. For over 136 years, YWCA has helped women achieve equality, economic sustainability and lives free from violence in our four program areas: housing and support, employment and skills development, girls' and family programs, and advocacy.

SOURCE YWCA Canada

For further information: For further information: For more information about YWCA Elm Centre contact: Christine Thompson, Special Giving Manager, (416) 961-8101 ext. 361, cthompson@ywcatoronto.og; To arrange an interview please contact: Raine Liliefeldt, Communications Manager, (416) 961.8101 ext.326, rliliefeldt@ywcatoronto.org

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