Dream comes true for Niagara Peninsula Homes

Posted Sep 29th, 2015 in Recent News

By Franki Ikeman, The Tribune Tuesday, September 29, 2015 6:19:31 EDT PM

It’s a dream come true for Niagara Peninsula Homes.


One that has been in the works for several years, a space to call their own that will be the non-profit’s headquarters and home base for many of its programs.

The two-year project came to an end when it celebrated the grand opening of its Community Resource Centre on Sept. 18. That day, they showed off the product of their hard work to restore and convert the old grocery warehouse on Victoria Street.

“Through our various trade programs and under contractors that have discounted their services, youths worked under them or unemployed individuals to learn a trade or learn an introduction to the trade,” said executive director Betty Ann Baker.

“It’s been a living classroom.”

Baker said the former warehouse was windowless and doorless, with extensive fire damage. When Niagara Peninsula Homes purchased the building, Baker said, trade programs director Dave Young saw a space that could be turned into something great and it followed along.

Young led a group of at-risk youth and unemployed people from Team ENERGI to help transform the building into the place it is now. Team ENERGI is a program through Niagara Peninsula Homes that offers job training and work experience in the skilled trades.

“David Young, he saw the building and saw a dream for it. He believed in it,” Baker said.

Niagara Peninsula Homes is the mother organization to several non-profit divisions, including Niagara Women’s Enterprise Centre.

It was started in the 1990s to help train women who are unemployed or underemployed, but until now it had borrowed other facilities to conduct its programming.

“This building represents the first time that Niagara Women’s Enterprise Centre has had a home,” Baker said.

It will host courses such as its office administration, retail and hospitality programs from the Welland building.

Niagara Peninsula Homes has developed about 2,700 units of co-op and non-profit and supportive housing in Niagara and Hamilton, Baker said, and currently manages close to 1,200 units.

The organization has been around since 1978.

“It’s a dream come true so today (Sept. 18) marks our beginnings really, so we wanted the community to know what we’re doing,” Baker said.

“We wanted people to see that there’s a lot of good stuff that happens in this building.”

The Tribune’s Biz Buzz column appears every Wednesday. If you have a business tip, send it to franki.ikeman@sunmedia.ca or call 905-684-7251, ext. 581167.