The goal is to provide housing to 22 Indigenous people and families who’re currently homeless and are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Wood Buffalo Council have approved giving approximately $1.1 million to the Wood Buffalo Wellness Society for the Tawâw project.
The Tawâw (pronounced ta-WOW in Cree, meaning “come in,” “welcome”) Housing First Partnership is an innovative collaboration drawing upon the expertise, experience and networks of three established community organizations to create rapid access to 22 beds for homeless Indigenous individuals and families. The project will convert units owned by WBH into transitional and supportive housing spaces. Services will also be clustered under the leadership of McMurray Métis and the WBWS to serve residents.
As self-sufficiency is achieved, residents will transition to other nearby WBH units, but will remain members of the community as they continue to draw upon services and support others on the path to self-sufficiency. There are 51 people awaiting placement in local housing programs, with 32 people identified as Indigenous.
Funding comes from the federal government’s Reaching Home initiative, which targets homelessness across Canada. The funds are restricted to programs specific to COVID-19 and its impacts on homeless populations.
Throughout the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, CPH projects have been able to help house 85 individuals.