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MEDIA RELEASE: The Emergency Shelter Must Be Open All Year Round!

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
The Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty denounces the closing of the Emergency Out of the Cold Shelter at 200 Larch street.  The City is abandoning all pretense of commitment to meeting basic shelter needs, which it cynically adopted as part of the Housing First Strategy.  This egregious assault on the most vulnerable people will not go unchecked, just as it was challenged in 2013 when S-CAP fought to get the Emergency Shelter first opened.
The Emergency Shelter was set up as a result of members and supporters of the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty demanding that a place where anyone can sleep every night of the winter with no questions asked be opened last winter.  This is the second partial winter that the emergency shelter has been opened, and this year it was moved to a more accessible space that is owned by the City.  However, it is still not a shelter that meets all the needs of the people.
We held a rally and march to defend and expand the Emergency Shelter on March 27th of this year.  Over forty shelter users and allies gathered to reassert the need for an independent and inclusive shelter that is open all the time and meets all of the needs of the people.  This mobilization forced the City to extend the shelter operations until mid-April and to replace the Salvation Army staff.  This demonstrates that there are other organizations in the City who could staff the shelter. 
We will continue to fight for the needs of all homeless people who need to access shelter.  The shelter must be an independent shelter:  it must be run for the people and meet all their needs; it must not be run by the Salvation Army; and it must have respectful and well trained staff that treat everyone as human beings.  The shelter must always be open:  it must be open 24 hours a day; it must be open all year round; and it must be a non-commercial community space that is open to everyone.  The shelter must also be inclusive:  it must be a no questions asked shelter that does not turn people away based on any criteria; it must allow people who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol; it must have no registration process and have no barriers to accessing the services.
Winter is over, but the struggle continues.  We will continue to push for the demands of the people to be met.  The shelter must be reopened and stay open all year.  Even though the weather is improving, the conditions on the street remain harsh.  S-CAP, homeless folks, and allies will be organizing an Urgent Status Housing Application Blitz, including our drop-in scheduled at APANO on Monday April 27th from 1 to 3:30pm to assist with filling out applications.  We will be delivering these applications to Sudbury Housing following the drop-in.  All supporters are invited to meet up outside APANO at 3:30 to march the applications over and help demonstrate that shelter and housing are immediate needs that cannot be ignored.

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grassrootssudburymedia (Grassroots Sudbury Media)
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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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