Transition House – an Update

After a few turbulent years (see links below), Transition House now has a new Executive director, Anne Newman – Anne started work just before the Covid-19 crisis started.  With social distancing required, and schools closed, residents were moved to a dormitory style arrangement at CCI. Since then, Transition House has been fully operational there and their 10 Chapel Street location has been closed.  On Thursday, June 25, Transition House held their Annual General Meeting and together with additional input from Anne, I can now provide an update.

But first, let’s spell out what Transition House does.  First and foremost they provide short term emergency housing for adults.  Then they help clients move into affordable housing.  They are primarily funded by Northumberland County who contribute 69% of their $677K budget.  Most clients are men (75%) and the breakdown is shown in the graphic at right.


They work with partners:

Also Greenwood Coaltion.

Currently there are 30 beds at CCI (Cobourg Collegiate Institute) and with the schools set to re-open in some form in September, Transition house will be vacating the school in August and moving back to the house.  Anne reports that “In the meantime we are preparing the home with a refresh in order to be able to provide a gold standard of public health requirements under COVID.”

Transition House
Transition House

Governance is by a board who oversee activities.  With two new members recently added, the board members are now:

  • Chair: Marsha Jones
  • Vice Chair/Treasurer: Linda Hinton
  • Member: Nicole Gibson
  • Member: Taylor Nelson
  • Member: Sister Teresa Ryan
  • Member (Police representative): Jeff Shiels
  • Past Chair: Catherine White
  • New Member: Linda Farrell
  • New Member: Jeff Wheeldon
  • Non-Voting County Representative:  Sarah Tanner
  • Town of Cobourg Observer:  Nicole Beatty

Some other facts

Their fiscal year is April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 and the following numbers are for that period:

  • With their reopening, they have a completely new staff
  • 75% of their budget goes to wages
  • 15% of income comes from donations, mostly organizations
  • 8% of income came from a Trillium grant
  • 11% of expenses are for repairs and maintenance
  • This is the only such facility in Northumberland
  • A Strategic plan has been developed for the period 2020 – 2025.  It mostly speaks to behaviour and governance issues (see AGM presentation in links below).

Below are links covering some of the recent happenings with Transition House plus additional information.


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1 July 2020 10:05 am

As demonstrated by the Federal Govt in the civid crisis we can find money if we need to. Build a proper transition house in the most suitable area instead of these make do approaches.

Reply to  Rae
1 July 2020 10:06 pm

The federal government can create all the money it wants and spend it. I sincerely doubt the Town of Cobourg would get away with such a thing for very long.

Last edited 2 years ago by JimT
1 July 2020 12:39 am

This tax paying public person approves. Your ignorance is causing suffering.

Reply to  Michelle
1 July 2020 6:44 am

Michelle, is your comment directed to Gordon below? He claims a drub rehab is undesirable and dangerous. I can understand why some people think it is undesirable but I would like to know what the dangers are. To my knowledge there was no shortage of drugs in the high school, unfortunately. I would think people needing drug rehab should not be located near a source of drugs. Maybe the people using the facility would not be allowed out during school hours. I do not know how such a facility works. You approve of the facility so you likely think there is a need for one. There is no doubt some people are in need of rehab. Gordon, if you read this, could you explain the dangers?

Gordon Gilchrist
29 June 2020 5:13 pm

It is a matter of serious concern to me as a former school-board Trustee, that little or nothing has been discussed with the public a possible drug rehabilitation center 6o be established in the medical building on King Street East. The building is right across the street from Cobourg Collegiate Institute and less than 1/2 kilometer from C.R. Gummow junior school.
I asked the Mayor for confirmation that this was happening but did not receive such advice. Considering the surreptitious approval being given by the Planning Department, one has to believe that Council knows very well how much opposition will be made to the project by parents and neighbours to have their respectable neighbourhood invaded and their kids influenced by imported drug addicts from local areas and from Toronto. There certainly wouldn’t be enough Cobourg and Port Hope addicts to fill the 30 beds being approved for the medical building and for the Woodlawn Terrace building for which application has also been made for addicts.
What can Councilors be thinking about to approve such an undesirable and dangerous facility?
Why has there been no notification and prior discussion with public and parents?

John Draper
Reply to  Gordon Gilchrist
29 June 2020 5:25 pm

I think that this will require a public meeting and in any case, Council has not yet approved it. My understanding is that applications have been made to the Planning department and that’s all that’s happened so far. When it comes to Council, it will be the subject of an article on this site.
Sorry, update – Nicole Beatty said at Council tonight that this usage is allowed and all that’s required is a building permit. But Deputy Mayor Seguin wants to review the situation and may bring it to Council.

Reply to  John Draper
29 June 2020 5:58 pm

Think again King st was approved

Reply to  Gordon Gilchrist
29 June 2020 5:54 pm

Gord’s site is frozen I can’t vote it up ???

29 June 2020 2:42 pm

I hate to sound like a NIMBY-ist (considering I don’t live in that neighbourhood) however I think the idea of establishing a treatment center across from a public high school is introducing unnecessary risk to both the student and the individual in treatment. I’m not sure why this decision was made – I suspect space availability and cost played a role in the location but it seems like a choice made with little forethought. I’m somewhat surprised there aren’t guidelines or regulations regarding proximity to schools/day cares…

Reply to  Rob
29 June 2020 7:19 pm

There is for strip joints.

29 June 2020 1:12 pm

I hope when they return there will be strict rules enforced in regards to their residents loitering on neighbour properties, attempting to access vehicles on neighbour properties and camping out on church property. There needs to be better controls in place in order to keep this residential neighborhood safe. I do not see how they can support 30 residents maintaining distancing regulations in a house the size of 10 Chapel St. Surely there are more appropriate facilities to house these numbers in a safe, responsible manor.

29 June 2020 12:04 pm

Yes I know it’s a downer. It’s another hard truth.

29 June 2020 10:32 am

Canada wide they did not close the beer and liquor stores during a pandemic. Addiction is so widespread in our society, they were afraid the hospitals would be overrun with cases of withdrawal. Addiction affects us all. It’s just easier to manage when you are privileged.

29 June 2020 9:59 am

In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental health or addiction problem. This isn’t about them. It’s about us. 1 in 2 of those kids in the schools you mention will need assistance with mental health and substance use by the time they reach the age of 40.

Reply to  Michelle
29 June 2020 5:52 pm

So lets deal wit our neighborhood and our own children
I am sure we can handle that if we all work together
But I have no interest in solving this countries or world problems
from Cobourg and with our Police and tax dollars

29 June 2020 8:30 am

Guess what going on in your neighborhood
The town has apparently approved some sort of Rehab facility for substance abuse in the Medical building right across from the East High School and 2 public schools just in be hind it on Cottetsmore Ave Not sure when its to open they are looking for another Building in the area for additional housing has anyone else heard of this ???

Merry Mary
Reply to  sandpiper
29 June 2020 9:54 am

The story and video can be found at

Reply to  sandpiper
29 June 2020 11:55 am

There is already a rehab in Cobourg, it’s near Staples, I think they are just moving it.

29 June 2020 8:22 am

Hmmmm, nine women and two men on the board of directors. You’d think that there would be some effort to attain gender equity on the board.

Merry Mary
29 June 2020 7:04 am

It would be wonderful to have published, using aliases, some of the success stories of individuals who have had need of this temporary shelter. It is questioned whether Transition House is being confused with other not so well known Group Homes that are located within our midst?

Reply to  Merry Mary
29 June 2020 9:04 am

Yes, some information on success would be welcome. Without actual information how can the right decisions be made? Statistics showing the successes and failures would help to know what works and what does not. Statistics on community housing, which serves a different purpose, would also be interesting. Some people in community housing use it as an opportunity to get ‘back on their feet’ and they move on after a period of time. Others seem to live there for life. There can be many reasons for needing Transition House and/or community housing. Sometimes people have ‘bad luck’ and need help. My father has often said. “you make your own luck.” I think he means that if you make the right decisions you can do well. Help can be needed in making those right decision. Transition House is connected to many community resources to help people. Lets here about the successes.

28 June 2020 9:54 pm

Ok I will be the first to comment. I am glad we have this option for the vulnerable in Northumberland. Perhaps we ourselves are privileged and not in need of these services but I have family members and friends that without services like this might have perished. I was homeless in my teenaged years. Pregnant too. I am an old geezer now but will never forget how scared and vulnerable I was. How at the mercy of predators I was. How surprised I was at who the predators were.

Reply to  Michelle
29 June 2020 12:57 am

There is another site suggested by a developper. He was broken in and robbed. We are scared by the problems involving drugs in front of us and exposure to vagrancy. We lived in a safe and clean family neighborhood before that happened. I contacted Kingston (mental department ) hospital the head specialist mentioned to me : “the level of care given to those patients ( drug addiction) is not appropriate if your neighborhood is exposed. Nobody should suffer emotionally or be at risk.” So was there research done here ?
Not only we are exposed dangerously and misunderstood but we are fragilised from the unpleasant era of Covid-19. The police force is not a mental health service either. We had a suicide not long ago… remember ? So I am asking the outside readers only if Cobourg hasn’t made its proper homework again and again who didn’t according to you ?

Last edited 2 years ago by Johanne
Reply to  Johanne
1 July 2020 7:05 pm

Dear Johanne this is too complicated to be dealt with properly. Detoxing isn’t worth dealing with. The neibourhood is getting used to stupidity, covid will change their mind on that topic and taxes will skyrocket anyway ; inquiring with mental hospital specialists or compare with other sucessful communities it’s too much. Who wants to do this ? Sanity is not important in this “wellness” town people from here will tell you. Addiction is not a problem you’re exaggerating. This is a blog to air out the same things over and over again. Nobody really wants to find a solution. Take it easy.

Last edited 2 years ago by Johanne