The cold weather brings the need for shelter top-of-mind, and all citizens are rightly concerned for fellow citizens are without homes. Our regional system, operated by social agencies, has an overflow handling process so that everyone is accommodated, even on the coldest nights. No one is turned away.
Shelter usage actually decreased in 2014 and then stabilized, until recently. Regional staff noticed usage spiking, beginning in October 2017, and worked with local agencies to mitigate the need for motel-based overflow.
The shelter system has a total of 245 spaces, and Regional staff developed a plan to add 70 more spaces throughout the winter, in partnership with the House of Friendship and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.
Council readily endorsed this new plan. This new program will serve everyone well through this winter. These partners deserve thanks from all of us.
Longer term, we are in a leadership position for a community of our size to functionally eliminate homelessness.
Stay tuned. In the meantime, please give generously to your favourite charity.