Homeless To Be Accommodated In Existing Shelters

first_imgCOMMUNITY SERVICES–Homeless To Be Accommodated In ExistingShelters Anyone seeking shelter in Halifax will find it thanks to anenhanced partnership between Community Services, the Departmentof Health and shelter operators. The announcement was made today, May 2, as plans were beingfinalized to move people still staying at a temporary wintershelter that opened in December and was scheduled to close onApril 30. Pendleton Place was established to replace a discontinued programat Brunswick Street United Church, following a meeting betweenthe province, municipality and community representatives lastfall. It was funded by the Department of Community Services andoperated by the Saint Leonard’s Society of Nova Scotia. “We are very pleased to have worked with the Saint Leonard’sSociety to provide an important service for some of the homelessthis winter,” said Community Services Minister David Morse. “Thestaff of Pendleton Place have done a remarkable job and we arevery thankful to them.” “We care about these individuals and want to make sure they havea place to go,” said Jerry Smyth, executive director with thesociety. “We’ve been working with Community Services and othershelter operators to ensure the proper supports are in place forthem.” Although Pendleton Place was operating near full capacity duringthe winter, other shelters experienced a decline in use and, insome cases, significant numbers of vacancies. As a result,Community Services met regularly with shelter operators todetermine whether the needs of the homeless could be met withinthe existing shelter system. “It was felt there was sufficient capacity for the homelesswithin the existing system,” said Mr. Morse. “By working togetherto make the best possible use of existing resources and providingenhanced supports for those with mental health and substanceabuse issues, the system can now accommodate anyone seekingshelter.” The enhanced supports include adding staff to one of the existingshelters and expanding the Capital District Health Authority’sShared Care Team and Mobile Crisis Team so that there arededicated members for the emergency shelters. Major Wayne Loveless, executive director of The Salvation Army,which provides shelter to homeless men, said: “We believe ahigher level of co-operation among shelter operators, along withgovernment support, will allow us to serve those who were stayingat the temporary shelter as well as other homeless individuals.” Sheri Lecker, executive director of Adsum House, agrees. “Thewomen’s shelters are committed to doing our best to accommodatethe women and female youth coming from Pendleton Place. We havealso improved communications and are using our establishedreferral process to ensure there is a bed available for any womanor female youth looking for a place to stay.” Tim Crooks, executive director of Phoenix Youth Programs, whoworks with homeless youth ages 16 to 24, adds: “We arecollaborating with Community Services, Halifax RegionalMunicipality and other service providers to provide bettersupport for vulnerable youth. We are committed to ensuring thatyouth have not only a place to stay, but also access to importantprograms and support services.” Major Loveless said that even with all of the supports in place,there will be people who spend the night on the street. “Unfortunately, some people are resistant to any kind ofservice,” he said. “We can do our best to make sure the shelterand supports are available, however we cannot control whethersomeone uses them.”last_img

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