“For Youth, By Youth.” This is the motto for the five new affordable housing units that are currently under construction on Cashin Avenue. Two Choices for Youth (CFY) programs are teaming up to make a huge IMPACT on the community: Impact Construction , a CFY social enterprise, is renovating the property to be available for new or expecting mothers and their families that are connected to CFY’s Momma Moments program.
Momma Moments is a peer-to-peer support and strengths-based program for young parents or pregnant mothers. It provides moms and their children with wrap-around support to navigate the challenges of motherhood, which they often face in addition to social isolation, financial demands, and limited social and family support. Groups meet once a week for programming that emphasizes overall wellness - mental, physical, spiritual, and social - for both mother and child. Finding safe, affordable housing has been identified as a barrier for many parents in the Momma Moments program. The Cashin Avenue project is an opportunity to provide supportive housing specifically for young families – the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador.
In addition to being an innovative project, the location of the site has an interesting history. Many in the neighbourhood remember the Cashin Avenue property as a Salvation Army Thrift Store. It was then converted into four different apartment units, which were constructed slowly over time, adding one apartment every few years. The result was a jigsaw puzzle of construction that was very clearly not up to code when the building was eventually opened up for an overhaul. The state of the property required Impact Construction to do a full removal and replacement of the wooden structure. The five units are being rebuilt from the foundation up.
First, necessary foundation repairs were conducted using new Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) technologies. ICFs are pre-made forms that are another way to build a foundation. The pieces fit together like a puzzle, using a plastic framework that gets filled with concrete. It has all the same benefits as a traditional foundation and insulation. The next piece to get underway was the framing. The project has been moving along, and the structure now has the first floor complete! The expected completion date of the full project is December 2019.
This project gives youth trainees experience and skills in that are valuable in a variety of trades. From carpentry, to plumbing to electrical, the trainees participating in this build are getting exposure and cross-training in many fields. A project like this helps to develop their resumes and makes them competitive candidates for jobs and career paths post-Impact Construction. It also allows for them to see the process of building a house from start to finish, and provides a huge sense of pride for the youth working on the project.
For Momma Moments, this project provides another avenue of support for the moms and kids in the program. CFY operates using the housing first philosophy, which is the notion that all individuals have a right to housing, regardless of circumstances and with no prerequisites. Being able to offer affordable housing for young families that is supportive, flexible, and that can meet their unique needs is a wonderful addition to the variety of housing options that CFY offers. These housing units will provide another tool for stability for young parents, helping them to create healthier futures for their families
Impact Construction is a social enterprise from Choices for Youth that employs at-risk youth. This construction company offers a variety of services including energy retrofits, paint and plaster, property maintenance, decks, framing, landscaping and interior renovations. Impact Construction prides itself on completing projects on time, on code, and on budget. It also teaches valuable skills to the youth that they employ. The youth learns a variety of skills that will be useful in competitive employment once they are ready. To find out how Impact Construction can help with your renovation needs, email firstname.lastname@example.org