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MEDIA RELEASE: Sudbury Finally Sets Date to Open Out-of-the-Cold Shelter

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Nov. 28, 2014 – For Immediate Release                       Contact: S-CAP at 249-878-7227

The City finally sets the date for the opening of the Out of the Cold Shelter. S-CAP raises need for more extended hours and for non-Salvation Army staff.

After weeks of protest and organizing by the Sudbury Coalition (S-CAP) and others the City has finally set the date for the opening of the Out of the Cold Shelter for December 1st.  While it is still not clear why the Shelter, which should have been open in early November, is only being opened now this is an important step forward for homeless people who have been left out in the cold by the City.

While S-CAP welcomes the opening of the Out of the Cold Shelter we continue to raise the concerns and needs of the homeless people we talked to about their experiences with the pilot project last winter. Their two major concerns were:  

1) that the shelter needs to be open for more extended hours (preferably on a 24 hour basis) since it is very cold during the day in the winter and shelter and warmth are required at these times as well, and

2). that there needs to be staff that is not from the Salvation Army given that many homeless people have had problems with the Salvation Army, and its staff. Salvation Army staffing means that some homeless people will not feel safe going to the Out of the Cold Shelter. That the Red Cross is providing staff for the first three nights for the shelter opens up other possibilities and in many centres like Toronto it is City workers who staff most of the shelters.

S-CAP will monitor the situation with the Shelter and if problems arise we will raise them with the City.

To address the roots of homelessness the City must also make available safe, accessible and affordable housing and social assistance rates need to be increased dramatically so that people can afford the rental housing that is available.  

S-CAP will also be approaching the new City Council about two related issues.

·        The current Handi-Transit reviews are denying many people with non-physical disabilities, and also some people with physical disabilities, access to public transit in the City. These reviews must be ended immediately and access for those with physical and non-physical disabilities restored.

·        The City must maintain the policies and rates of the former provincial Community Start –Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) for its Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) funding. Right now under City policies a person who needs a new bed (mattress and box spring)  because of a bed bug infection who does not need to move is only allocated $400 rather than the $799 they would have received under the CSUMB. This needs to be changed to allow people in poverty in exceptional circumstances the funding they need.    

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


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About the Sudbury Working Group

The Sudbury working-group of The Media Co-op was formed to create independent media in the North, to speak to our issues and outlooks on our communities as well as the world around us. Independent media provides an avenue for people who are wishing to gain critical perspective on the issues that matter most to us, and to give a voice to those people and stories that you won't find in the mainstream media.

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