First Responders roll up their sleeves to help address Hamilton’s affordable housing shortage

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Hamilton’s first responders are always willing to help the community – and now, they’re focusing their efforts on responding to the affordable housing crisis.

A woman powered volunteer team of seven frontline workers from the Fire, Security, Police, Paramedic, and Border Services sectors have banded together to help raise funds to ensure that women and children in Hamilton have a place to call home.

Their campaign – Project First to Respond – aims to raise $50,000 in support of the Putman Family YWCA, Hamilton’s first affordable housing residence dedicated to women and women-led families.

This 50-unit building will prioritize women who are Indigenous, from marginalized communities, or who have experienced violence, poverty, and homelessness. Of the 50 units at the Putman Family YWCA, 15 were reserved for women living with a developmental disability.  The building, which is in the final stages of construction, will also house spaces designed for community gathering, as well as an Innovation Centre, community garden, flexible space for seniors and youth, and health and wellness programming.

The First to Respond teams have worked tirelessly over the past several weeks to meet their $50,000 fundraising goal, first with a bottle drive on September 18 that collected dozens of empties in support of the cause.

The second event, Tank the Frank, saw Hamilton Police Services Chief Frank Bergen climb into a dunk tank to raise over $2,400 in support of the Putman Family YWCA. (Special thanks to Chief Bergen for being a good sport!).

On October 7, women from across Hamilton and Halton came together for the First100 Women’s Only Golf Tournament. Attendees enjoyed

nine holes of golf, a delicious dinner, door prizes, gift bags, and more. Our special thanks go out to our generous golf tournament sponsors, and to all of our amazing attendees.

Finally, the First to Respond team gears up for the last two events which will include skydiving and a ten day community give back challenge.

We are so grateful to the First to Respond organizing committee: Jo-Ann Savoie, Treena MacSween, Robin Abbott, Kelly Frapporti-Tobin, Carla MacDonald, Emily Frewin and Pamela O’Hagan.

With the campaign scheduled to wrap up at the end of October, all are encouraged to help bring it over the top! Show your support by spreading the word and by donating to support a first response team of your choice.

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