A new emergency shelter in Kitchener will open Thursday at the former Schwaben Club

A new emergency shelter will open Thursday at the former Schwaben Club in Kitchener.

It will replace the emergency shelter currently in operation at the former Edith MacIntosh Daycare, which is due to close after Wednesday evening.

The new shelter – located at 1668 King St. E. – will continue to be operated by The Working Center and will be able to accommodate up to 70 people from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m., seven days a week during the “first months” of the first phase of operations, the region said in a statement.

“In choosing the location, we considered the feasibility of activating the site quickly to provide an urgent response, its proximity to public transport, the availability of support services and the viability from a service provider perspective” , said Kelly-Anne Salerno, assistant director of housing. operations and administration, said in a statement.

The new shelter will also be inclusive, the region said, to support all gender identities, couples and pets.

During the second phase, the goal is for the shelter to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week with increased capacity for a period of 18 to 24 months.

New shelter part of interim housing solutions

A one-time count in September 2021 showed that there were over 1,000 people currently experiencing homelessness in the region and around 450 people experiencing chronic homelessness.

The new emergency shelter is part of the region’s interim housing solutions strategy which was approved by council in August with the aim of addressing homelessness in the region.

The region will also be seeking community input on its Homelessness Master Plan which will seek longer-term solutions to prevent and end homelessness.

Peter Sweeney, the region’s Community Services Commissioner, said in the press release that any future plans will require « the support and understanding of the wider community ».

« We will be asking the community to actively participate in the public consultation that will take place as part of the development of the Homelessness Master Plan in early 2023, » Sweeney said.

He said anyone with questions or comments about the new shelter can contact the area.


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