Volunteers have vented their frustrations with the decision by Inn from the Cold to focus on helping homeless families.

The organization decided recently to stop offering shelter to single homeless people after concerns were raised about incidents involving clients with mental health or addictions issues.

Inn from the Cold held an open house Wednesday night to discuss the decision. Executive director Linda McLean said she was heartened to see the dedication among volunteers.

"We were able to offer some clarification where there perhaps had been questions," said McLean. "Quite a number of those individuals who has been part of this program had expressed very, very strong dedication to continuing to work with homeless populations."

Program not in line with mission

The community inn program was a night-only program that sheltered about 15 single adult men and women in churches and community spaces across the city. But concerns about safety and the type of care the program was able to provide prompted Inn from the Cold to suspend it. McLean said there has also been a "disconnect" between the program and the organization's mandate.

"There had been a long standing commitment within the organization at the leadership and the board level to look at transitioning away from this," McLean said. 

"It has become a program that is not very closely aligned with our mission, which is to serve children and their families who are affected by homelessness."

Linda McLean

Linda McLean, the executive director of Inn from the Cold, says the community inn program doesn't align with the organization's mission to help children and families experiencing homelessness. (CBC)

McLean said the men and women who used the community inn program will be able to get better treatment from other programs and organizations.

"We're quite confident that they can be readily absorbed into those existing systems which really do offer outstanding services for adult men and women, who are experiencing homelessness," said McLean.