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MEDIA RELEASE: Still No Date from City for Opening Emergency Out of the Cold Shelter

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Nov. 10, 2014 – For Immediate Release

Contact: S-CAP at 249-878-7227

Still No Date Set by the City for the Opening of the Emergency Out of the Cold Shelter.

Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (S-CAP) members, concerned about possible delays in setting up the Out of the Cold shelter, visited the Ontario Works office today and met with a City staff person regarding progress on the shelter. Despite the promise made by City staff, to S-CAP and city councillors at the City Council meeting on Nov. 4, that the shelter would be up and running in about two weeks time at 200 Larch Street no date has yet been set for the opening of the shelter. It is now a full week into this two week time period and today snow has again fallen in Sudbury. Homeless people are again being left out in the cold and snow.

Three members of S-CAP were told that a draft report from the architect was received today, and that the City is dealing with fire and safety regulations as well as change of use (or zoning) regulations. But at the same time the City representative could not tell the S-CAP members when the shelter will open.

S-CAP continues to demand that the shelter be open as soon as possible and will be holding the City to the about two weeks from the Nov. 4th meeting deadline. The City has had since last March to plan for this. In S-CAP’s view the shelter should already be up and running and it is a failure of political will that has once again left many homeless people out in the cold. S-CAP will continue to check in regularly to ensure that this needed shelter is set up as soon as possible.

S-CAP continues to have two other major concerns that come from our conversations with homeless people who used (or could not use) the pilot project shelter last year. These are that the staff not be drawn from the Salvation Army, and that it be open for 24 hours a day, or at least for more extended hours, since in the winter it is also very cold during the day. Unfortunately, the City is not providing its own staff for the shelter but will be drawing on Salvation Army staff. While there may have been some improvement in the practice of some Salvation Army staff many homeless people have had negative experiences with them in the past and may avoid this shelter when it is set up for this reason. For many indigenous people with the experience of the residential school system and Christian missionary forms of racism and colonialism the moralizing that can come with Salvation Army staff must be avoided.   

This shelter will only be open (once it does open!) from 8pm to 7am. Homeless people need a warm place to be able to seek shelter when it is cold at anytime during the day and night. S-CAP continues to call for the shelter to be open 24 hours a day or at least to have much more extended hours. Otherwise many homeless people are still forced out into the cold for the rest of the day.

It is the responsibility of the City to provide this emergency shelter for homeless people in the city. S-CAP will continue to act to make sure that the City meets its responsibilities to the poor and homeless living in Sudbury.   

For more information contact: S-CAP at 249-878-7227


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