Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

The St. Leonards Society of Hamilton (SLSH) is proposing a substantive renovation of the Emerald Street Treatment Centre, located at 22-24 Emerald Street South, Hamilton. It will bring the structure to a level, which meets community needs, including environment, safety, security and flexibility.
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Community Safety: For thirty-six years SLSH has been offering service to our clients who are being released from Correctional Facilities. They are the hardest to serve clients in the Hamilton area. The facility at 22-24 Emerald is a substance abuse centre offering many programs that decrease the likelihood of reoccurrence of our clients offences

Community Safety: For thirty-six years SLSH has been offering service to our clients who are being released from Correctional Facilities. They are the hardest to serve clients in the Hamilton area. The facility at 22-24 Emerald is a substance abuse centre offering many programs that decrease the likelihood of reoccurrence of our clients offences.

Accessibility and Flexibility: The renovation of 22-24 Emerald would see an increase in program space and new service centers for our clients. There would be space available for our community partners to use on an ad hoc basis. Facilities upgraded would allow for greater energy efficiency, handicap accessibility and security. Specialized handicapped areas and healthcare facilities allow for better care of an aging clientele.
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Employment: The renovation would allow for 20,000 person hours of construction and renovation work over the course of the project, while additional 40,000 person hours over the next 10 years of employment due to new programs.

Eco-efficiency: Energy efficiency and upgrading of existing infrastructure are two of the driving forces for this renovation. This will allow for greater flexibility of use and economic viability.

Community Support: We have a broad spectrum of community support, which includes the Hamilton Police Services, 11 other community groups and our major funding partner, The Correctional Services of Canada.
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  • Reception

  • Offices

  • Program Spaces

  • Lounge

  • Bedrooms

  • Bathrooms

  • Storage

The project would be divided into 5 distinct phases. This will allow for the residents and programs to continue to function almost as normal.

  • Phase 1 - New Entry

  • Phase 2 - West

  • Phase 3 - South

  • Phase 4 - North

  • Phase 5 - Basement

Agency Description:

The St. Leonards Society of Hamilton has been offering service to the people of Hamilton for the past 36 years. In that time the organization has demonstrated a commitment to increasing the quality of life for the hardest to serve members of our community while ensuring that public safety concerns remain a paramount focus of our operation. The agency has demonstrated itself to be an open and collaborative partner with other organizations and a responsible member of the social service spectrum of our community. In 2007 the St. Leonard's Society was honored with a great grant award" by the Ontario Trillium Foundation for in work in bridging the digital divide through the distribution of computer systems to area children living in low-income situations.

The St. Leonard 's Society of Hamilton currently operates two residential facilities and a broad-spectrum of community-based programs.

The facility located at 22 & 24 Emerald Street South is a 30-bed Substance Abuse Treatment Centre. The residents are parolees on conditional release from federal penitentiaries. This facility also provides non-residential programs to the broader community of federally sentenced offenders.
The Robert Street Residence, which also houses the administrative offices of the agency, is a 20 bed Day Parole facility. The program goal is to promote in the client's successful transition to the community from prison.

The AAA program is a group-based program which challenges pro-criminal beliefs. Through this program they are provided with the skills necessary to sustain pro-social attitudes and behaviours.

The Community Maintenance Program is a relapse prevention group program which reinforces participants capacity to maintain positive community supports and behaviours by developing concrete plans to avoid high-risk situations which may lead to further criminal activity.

The GreenBYTE Program encompasses two mutually supportive but distinct programs, the Computer Technology Program and the Employment Services Program. The aim of this program is to assist hard-to-serve clients in overcoming barriers to employment through increasing their marketable job skills and to find suitable employment placements in the community.

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Rationale for this Project:
The Emerald Street Treatment Centre occupies two former properties at 22 & 24 Emerald Street South . These properties are both in excess of 100 years old. In the 1980's the two residences were connected to form a single larger facility. While the renovation improved the viability of the facility as a treatment centre from an operational and security perspective, there was little to no investment provided towards improving the infrastructure of the two existing structures.

This proposed renovation project to the facility would see no increase in resident capacity but allow for an increase in the amount of program space and the creation of a new employment centre. As well the project would facilitate an overall upgrade to the facilities security, energy efficiency and accessibility level.

In recent years two engineering inspections have been completed on the facilities. The multitude and varied list of issues to be addressed as a result of these inspections is too extensive to list in this document but are available for review on the project website. Additionally, there are a number of global factors which support this project.

Community & Public Safety Factors:
  •   This is an aging structure which requires upgrades to security systems to effectively monitor client movement.
  •   Renovations will allow for installation of state-of-the-art alarm, camera and personal safety systems.
  •   The creation of specialized handicapped accessible areas and some healthcare facilities will create a safer environment for clients requiring these services.
  •   The proposed changes will not only protect the community through increased monitoring of clients but also protect the client from unwanted community influences through increased constraints on access by negative elements from the community.

  • Employment Creation Factors:
  •   The renovations will result in the creation of 20,000 hours of employment during the renovation project and 40,000 hours over the next ten years.
  •   The project will create opportunities for training and employment of hard-to-serve individuals.
  •   The project will be completed in collaboration with existing training facilities in the region.

  • Environmental Factors:
  •   The facility will become more eco-friendly which should result in substantive cost savings in the future as energy costs continue to rise.
  •   The renovations will create a more positive and energy efficient living space for residents.

  • Financial Factors:
  •   The Emerald Street Facility is one of the primary capital assets of the agency. Improvements will protect and/or enhance the value and viability of this asset for the future.
  •   Improvements will serve to substantively decrease maintenance and utility costs going forward thereby deriving a potential long-term cost savings.
  •   There are significant existing issues within the infrastructure of the building which require action. This includes the electrical system, plumbing system, heating and cooling systems and insulation. To replace each of these systems individually would entail incurring higher costs than completing all work concurrently.
  •   There appears to be some federal and provincial funding alternatives available to assist with the cost of renovations thereby ameliorating the financial impact on the agency.

  • Programming Factors:
    The proposed renovations will facilitate the following:
  •   The renovations will allow for a greater flexibility to pursue enhanced program and treatment options.
  •   The proposed renovation plan allows for work to be completed without a decrease or substantive impact on operations.
  •   To accommodate an expanded spectrum of both residential and community-based programs (e.g.: employment resource centre, attendance centre, expanded program space).
  •   Allow for an increased community presence within the facility (e.g.; AA, NA, medical services).
  •   The renovations will facilitate increased and better access to special needs clients, particularly those persons in wheelchairs or with limited mobility.
  •   There is potential to create employment opportunities for agency clients through completion of the renovations.
  •   Enhanced programming space could facilitate closer working relationships with our community partners through the provision of working space for non-agency employees.

  • Other Factors:
  •   The renovated facility will create a better image of the St. Leonard's Society to the community and continue to add to the process of urban renewal for the Lansdale/Stinson neighbourhoods.
  •   The planning process will present an opportunity for community partners to have input into the renovation planning process. This will facilitate the creation of a more versatile facility in the future.

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    Community Support for Project:

    A broad spectrum of community support for this project has been garnered from individuals and organizations operating in the Hamilton area including:

  • The Hamilton Police Services
  • Correctional Service Canada
  • The Childrens Aid Society of Hamilton
  • The Catholic Childrens Aid Society of Hamilton
  • The John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington & Area
  • The Elizabeth Fry Society
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hamilton and Burlington
  • PATH Employment Services
  • Andrea Horvath MPP for Hamilton Centre
  • Wever Community Hub
  • Dawn Patrol Child & Youth Services
  • Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton
  • Society of St. Vincent di Paul Hamilton
  • Native Women