Raising the Roof's Long Term Solution to Homelesness
What Is Reside?
Reside renovates vacant or under-utilized spaces into energy efficient affordable housing through partnerships with social enterprise contractors and local housing providers.
By creating employment opportunities and new units of deeply affordable housing with wraparound supports, Reside provides a tangible, targeted long-term solution to ending homelessness in Canada.
with barriers to employment have received trades training on our Reside projects
% of trainees
on our Reside projects have gone on to full-time employment
are either completed or under-development
in Canada have Reside projects - with many more to come!
We acquire vacant or under-utilized properties that require renovations in order to create new sustainable, affordable housing for people who are currently homeless or at risk of become homeless. Properties such as abandoned homes, heritage homes and churches or even derelict commercial buildings that could have represented a liability to the community are transformed, through the Reside program, into a community asset.
In addition to creating affordable housing, Reside projects provide real world, hands-on experience in the trades for people at risk of experiencing homelessness as they contribute to the renovation of these spaces through the training programs offered by our contracting partners. Our social enterprise contracting partners utilize a combination of training programs, connections to trade unions and employers as well as support resources customized for Reside trainees to ensure the cycle of poverty is truly broken for their participants.
We partner with local organizations who are already working on the front lines in their communities with families struggling to avoid homelessness. They know the most vulnerable people in their community by name.
Our housing provider partners help design Reside spaces to best meet the needs of these vulnerable people and then connect the people most in need of housing with the newly created units.
At the end of the process, the people who were homeless or were at risk of homelessness move into their new home!
The local housing providers help the tenants move in and get established in the home.
They also provide ongoing, wraparound supports to the tenants to ensure they not only survive, but thrive.
How you can help
01. Community Build Days
Raising the Roof’s Community Build Days offer an a uniquely impactful team building opportunity. Your team will have the opportunity gain practical skills, learn from people whose lives are being changed through the Reside program and create affordable housing for people at risk of homelessness!Learn more
We have levels of sponsorship available for small businesses who would like to be part of creating local solutions for homelessness in their community or large corporations who want to step up and work with us to end homelessness in Canada.Get in Touch
03. Help us find our next project
Do you know of a vacant building in your community that would be appropriate for housing? We are able to accept donations of real estate. As a registered charity, we can issue charitable tax receipts for the value of the property upon independent appraisal.Contact us
Either on a one time, monthly or quarterly basis, your investment will change lives of people who are sleeping rough on the streets, facing eviction and are scared, or temporarily staying in a shelter, grateful for the bed but longing for a permanent home.Donate
What our partners are saying
Sean Gadon, Director of Affordable Housing Office, City of Toronto
The City of Toronto is very pleased to participate in Raising the Roof’s Reside Program… We see the Reside Program as an important initiative in creating new community-based housing solutions for youth in Toronto. We are particularly excited that the Reside Program has the potential to be scaled up to provide housing opportunities for vulnerable youth in towns and cities from coast to coast to coast.
Completed Reside Project Tenant
I am able to focus on achieving my goals in a realistic way. I live independently and know where to get supports. In this short amount of time, I have been able to achieve goals and set new ones. I look forward to what is next. Thank you.
Tarah Clark, Building Up
Building Up is thrilled about our growing partnership with Raising the Roof. Raising the Roof provides our participants with the unique training opportunity of first hand work experience in construction. By renovating vacant spaces into energy efficient affordable housing our participants build not only their skills, confidence and employability, but they also go home proud of the work they have done. Our work with Raising the Roof gives us the ability to truly set our participants up for success in both their careers and their lives.
Edward, Building Up Construction Training Program Grad
Edward was a trainee working with one of our social enterprise contractors, Building Up. Edward was unemployed and on Ontario Works, experiencing suicidality and depression. Through the construction training program, Edward discovered his passion for carpentry. He built his confidence, rising at 4am each morning to be on-site first.
Since graduation, Edward has had stable, well-paying unionized apprenticeship, his mental health has improved, his housing security has improved, and he’s saving to purchase a home. “This is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life,” Edward says, “and I have Building Up to thank for that.”
Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth
The Reside Program is a fantastic initiative that provides homes for those in need while also providing training and career development for those searching for employment. It’s a win-win for everyone and I’m so glad to have this program in Ward 14. I’d like to extend my thanks to Raising the Roof, Houses Opening Today Toronto and all those involved. We need to continue building more quality, affordable housing and implementing these types of innovative programs.
Lucille Bruce, End Homelessness Winnipeg
A key pillar of the work of End Homelessness Winnipeg is to increase affordable housing supply. End Homelessness Winnipeg predicts at least 1,340 new units of housing are needed in the next five years to respond to the needs of Winnipeggers. We know we need new and creative partnerships to see this housing built.
We welcome Raising the Roof’s entry into Winnipeg, brining their expertise from Ontario, to help Winnipeg achieve this target.
Brandon Day, CEO of Community Builders
Social impact projects like this one are very important to Community Builders as they meet our mandate to create affordable housing, provide meaningful employment and healthy communities. Community Builders operates a paid 16 week program for individuals with barriers to employment that is designed to give them the supports they need to enter into the labour market and find meaningful employment in the trades.
A project like this would secure long term work, give opportunity to train and employ marginalized people and create more affordable housing.
Joe, Community Builders Construction Training Program Grad
“The program has taught me that I’m capable of learning lots of new things, even during the hardest times of my life, and that no matter what obstacles are in your way, anything is possible. “
Joe is a 23 year old who participated in Community Builders’ Construction Training Program. A few weeks into the program, he confided in one of the trainers that he was sleeping outside on the street. With the money he had earned in the program and the help of the Community Builders staff, he was able to rent an apartment. Now Joe works full time at Community Builders as part of their construction crew and aspires to one day build a house from the ground up.
Mayor Jeff Lehman, City of Barrie
The social impact of Community Builders and their Construction Trainee Program will be far reaching, benefiting families in need, specifically individuals with barriers to employment. Recipients will receive paid training and life skills development in the construction industry with a focus on creating and maintaining affordable housing. The training will provide hands on trades training, math, essential skills training, career planning and employment support. This will assist with lifting families out of poverty, providing access to full time higher paying jobs and in turn reducing or eliminating social assistance payments and government subsidies.
Kalen Taylor, Purpose Construction
Purpose Construction is a proud social enterprise construction company offering a range of residential, commercial and property management services. We provide skilled trades training and long-term jobs to people with barriers to employment, pay living wages and offer a supportive work environment.
We look forward to creating this first Reside project in Winnipeg with Raising the Roof, as well as other projects to create much needed affordable housing in Winnipeg.
Senay Mosazghi, Purpose Construction
[Purpose Construction] has been very helpful to me and my family, and it’s very helpful to the community, this job gives me comfort and gives me more sense of purpose. I was working at a very hard job site, but I’m thinking it’s helping the community, and it gave me more courage in my heart. I see Purpose Construction giving back to the community, and I need to be with a company like this”
Senay started working at Purpose Construction as a refugee and newcomer to Canada. Purpose was Senay’s first employer after fleeing religious persecution and war in Eretria. At Purpose, he was able to develop his English while learning trades-based skills and earning Canadian work experience. Today, Senay’s infectious good nature is a major asset to the Purpose Construction family. He is a skilled carpenter, managing large teams on commercial and residential jobs.
Mayor Allan Thompson, Town of Caledon
In my role as Mayor of Caledon, I am always looking for projects that offer a wide variety of community benefits to my community. Raising the Roof’s Reside model, turned a vacant church into affordable housing in our community, while training residents with barriers to employment to gain careers in construction through the process. They also fully greened the building and it is now an integrated and affordable shared housing model for two persons with developmental disabilities [a third person moved in in 2021] and one non-disabled person.
I was so inspired by this project that we dedicated the proceeds from our annual Caledon Council Charity Golf Tournament to Raising the Roof to help fund the work at 1 Cedar Mains. It is our hope that we will have the opportunity to work with Raising the Roof on similar Reside projects in the future.
Lisa Horrocks, HOTT
HOTT is delighted to be partnering with Raising the Roof to support a refugee family with the opportunity of having a long-term, stable and affordable home in Toronto. We have great respect for Raising the Roof as an organization and the innovative, transformative approach they take to creating housing and career development opportunities through the Reside Program. Their approach has a high impact on individual lives as well as providing broader social and community benefit by renovating housing that would have otherwise been vacant. As HOTT continues working hard to provide affordable housing and a helping hand in communities across Toronto, Raising the Roof’s dedication and the support of many wonderful partners, means that we are making the most of every available opportunity to provide housing to those who need it most.
Linda Goodall, Executive Director of The Lighthouse Orillia
The Lighthouse is pleased to be working alongside Raising the Roof to continue creating lasting impact and change in Orillia through housing and ongoing support. The addition of these much needed new affordable rental units to our portfolio will allow The Lighthouse to provide support at all stages of the housing continuum and further our ability to support those who need our services most in the community.
Raising the Roof