Taking a leadership role in the business community, Bethlehem's Executive Director, Lori Beech, participated in a discussion panel at the GNCC State of the Region 2019.
There was ample community leadership shown by the panelists during this year’s State of the Region event on April 3rd, 2019.
Regional Chair, Jim Bradley’s overall message was one of teamwork and a hopeful continuation of the current pursuit and shared vision for Niagara overall. Lori Beech, Executive Director of Bethlehem Housing and Support Services, did an excellent job of bringing the affordable housing crisis to the forefront of the panelist conversation.
An article published in The St.Catharines Standard covering this event included this statement - We'd like to have heard more on the two issues that might be the biggest facing the Region moving forward: the severe shortage of affordable housing, and the ongoing study of governance here and at other regions around Ontario that could have a colossal effect on our local identity through amalgamations.
By the time of publication, Beech had already been continuing her public awareness campaign, drawing attention and informing the community about the issues and Bethlehem’s efforts. She spoke on Tim Denis’ RoundTable Road Trip radio show the morning of April 5th, 2019. Beech was accompanied by Lloyd Smith, interim CEO of FirstOntario Credit Union, one of the partners for our new Affordable Housing build. Beech provided insights into the new building being erected at 111 Church Street - It will be eight to nine floors that set into the hill there on Church Street. Nine floors from the back and eight floors from the front... it will be 127 affordable housing rental units with a mix of one, two and three bedrooms...we will have a licensed daycare onsite, our Bethlehem administration offices and community hub space...
She also provided clarification on the partnerships and all levels of government and local business who helped to make this build a reality.
You can see our new Affordable Housing building beginning to take shape at 111 Church Street, as it cements itself as a beacon of hope for 127 families waiting for an affordable home. For a more detailed understanding of how all the pieces came together to build this new hope for many who are waiting for housing, please read Lori Beech’s article published in the current issue of Health, Wellness and Safety Magazine, where she gives insight into the wait for an affordable home and the toll that may take on physical and mental health. - What happens when you can no longer afford your home? You change your priorities and start by reducing your housing costs and making choices between paying rent, utilities and buying food. You apply for a home with lower rent, but you find yourself on a four- year wait list. You struggle and wait, never knowing when unforeseen financial incidents will put you at risk of eviction or having to visit the food bank. You compromise on food quality, lowering the heat, don’t buy medications, reduce health treatments, and eliminate physical and recreational activities. The effects of living in such precarious conditions will have a negative effect on your family’s health and wellness. This is a common story of evidence that socioeconomic status is a significant predictor of physical and mental health outcomes.To read more from Health, Wellness and Safety Magazine CLICK HERE and see Page 20.
To watch full coverage of the State of the Region CLICK HERE