"Underhoused'' is a term used to define a community with insufficient dwellings to serve its population. It can also describe individuals and families whose housing situation is simply inadequate. Both definitions applied to Myesha (Collins) and Josh Halsall. They had a toddler, Lydia, a baby on the way, and were living in a one-bedroom apartment that was ill-equipped to meet their needs. As a partner in a fledgling local small business, Josh, and his family, didn’t qualify for a mortgage under the conventional system. There were no rentals available in the area that could accommodate his growing family or the storage space for the equipment necessary for his business. Hope was dwindling that dreams of a proper family home were ever going to be realized. Enter Cathy Morel, the donor of the land at 132 North Shore Road, on which a Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North (OGN) home was being constructed. Cathy encouraged the couple to apply for consideration as OGN’s next partner family. With the support of family, friends, and community members, they did.
After a thorough application process, conducted by OGN and the Pointe au Baril Adopt-a-Home Committee, Josh and Myesha were selected. They completed their 500 volunteer hour contribution toward the build and the family moved in the Spring of 2020. In February, Josh and Myesha welcomed a little sister for Lydia, named Eleanor, and in November, the couple was married. Josh continues to grow his business, Cottage Life Services, and Myesha, a member of Shawanaga First Nation, also works part-time at the Shawanaga First Nation Administration office as a Finance Clerk.