Saint John Centre of Hope

The Saint John Salvation Army announced that its 27-bed shelter for men will close. (Salvation Army, Saint John)

The closure of the Salvation Army's Centre of Hope in Saint John could be an opportunity to get its homeless clients into stable housing, says a New Brunswick housing advocate.

The organization announced Wednesday the 27-bed shelter will close on April 30.

The move comes after a plea to the province for additional funding was turned down.

Tim Ross, policy director of the New Brunswick Non-Profit Housing Association, said securing permanent housing for the men could be more cost-effective in the long run, rather than what he calls chronic shelter use.

"Communities still require an emergency shelter as sort of a point of entry to respond to homelessness so folks who are in crisis don't have to live in a dangerous situation," said Ross.

"But that shouldn't become someone's home. It should become an entry point into services. The best emergency shelters operate in a context where a community has a plan to address homelessness based on housing first."

Minister of Social Development Madeline Dubé said her department will help find accommodations for the shelter's residents.