There has been a lot of talk recently about homelessness and affordable housing and citizens are trying to find ways to help. The Northumberland Sleeping Cabins Collective has announced that they are hoping to raise enough money to build 6 cabins to accommodate perhaps 10-12 individuals. Not all details are available nor problems solved but the immediate goal is to raise the money to provide a better solution for some homeless people. A cabin can be built for $5000 although that’s just sleeping quarters – more detail is provided below. Kitchen and washroom facilities would be provided with separate buildings and shared. It is hoped to find a location in each of Port Hope and Cobourg although so far there is no success in that regard.
Few of the difficult details have been provided on the group’s facebook page but it would seem that as a minimum an electricity connection would be required although even without that, a cabin would be better than the tents many homeless people currently use.
The target of the fundraising campaign is “$55,000 needed for the initial cabins and washroom trailer”. However, the total capital campaign for 12 cabins and accompanying trailers is $135,000.
The organizers say that four cabins can be built in two days but the target date is the end of January 2023 “once sites are confirmed in Cobourg and/or Port Hope”. The collective calls their effort “an emergency response to Cobourg and Port Hope’s homelessness crisis”. The cost is being kept low because work will be by volunteers or donated.
But the graphic below tells a good part of the story.
In the two months since the collective announced that it would build 10 to 12 tiny (8 X 10 ft.) heated sleeping cabins, they are pleased with the community’s response – you can get an idea of this by visiting their facebook page here. As well as cash, organizations have donated things like building materials (at cost by Gilmer’s Home Hardware), mattresses (Showtime TV and Stereo) and the washroom trailer (at cost by Buildx).
The biggest outstanding issue is where to put the cabins – the only public statement from Cobourg Council was when future usage of the parking lot for the Memorial Arena was being discussed in September 2022. One option to be considered was to use part of it to accommodate “tiny homes”. A group of cabins in one location seems necessary to allow a communal washroom and kitchen.
Although not everyone is convinced, the Northumberland Collective point to a success story at “A Better Tent City, Waterloo Cabin Collective”.
Green Wood Coalition, a registered charity, will accept donations on the Collective’s behalf (via Canada Helps) and issue tax receipts – go here.
Addendum – 21 Dec 4:50 pm
If you are interested in this subject, you should know that it came before Council on their meeting Monday 19 Feb. See my report here.