Since its new ownership in June, the old Ketso Yoh shelter has turned into an affordable housing complex.
Now called, ‘The Northern Breeze Inn,’ the privately funded building at 160 Quebec Street is now co-owned by Pamela Reimer who looks to give new hope for those struggling to make ends meet. “These people have nothing, they come with a bag and that’s their belongings, a bag of clothes, so we try to give them a fridge and a microwave and we try to make this their home the best we can.”
Reimer’s main goal is to bring the community together and allow them to live in a safe environment. “We want to clean it up and have a safe and affordable place for people to come, but we need people to obey the certain house rules as well,” she said.
One local man, Ron Williams was the sixth tenant to move in to the newly owned complex. He said for the first time in his life he feels like a ‘valued’ member because of the services provided. “I feel comfortable here when sometimes I don’t even feel comfortable when I go to visit my parents at their house,” he said.
Williams used to have a hard time interacting with others and struggled to find affordable living because of his mental condition. He said that the Northern Breeze Inn put him on the path to recovery. “They actually know that the more of us together, the stronger we are and the better we get along and the more we can inform each other about the infrastructure that some of us may be missing in our lives,” Williams said.
Now, even more renovations to the building and its outside building will take place over the next three years. Reimer says a lot of work has already been done in a short amount of time. “We put the gate in and raised the fence for security reasons, we’ve been putting in security cameras to protect our tenants because we want a secure, safe place for them.”
New sod was also laid this summer, along with a herb garden that Williams started. He’s seen his small effort get even more tenant involved in helping out. “The tenants, you see them volunteer to mow the lawn, volunteer to do anything because the landlords are so nice, it’s nice to give back.”
What looks like just another small building on Quebec street has already made a big impact. “This has become a very close-knit community that looks after each other,” Williams said.