Region of Waterloo committee approves $750k loan for Bridges shelter in Cambridge

Regional councillors have approved giving the Bridges shelter in Cambridge an interest-free loan not exceeding $750,000 to help them manage their accumulated debts. The decision was made Tuesday at a committee meeting.

Loan will go towards managing finances and paying off debt

The Bridges is a shelter located in the Galt core of Cambridge, Ont. The community safety committee with the Region of Waterloo approved the $750,000 the organization was seeking. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The Region of Waterloo's community services committee have approved giving the Bridges shelter in Cambridge an interest-free loan not exceeding $750,000 to help them manage their accumulated debts. 

The committee passed the staff recommendations without any debate during a meeting Tuesday morning. 

In a report released on Friday as part of the meeting's agenda, staff recommended the region come to an agreement with the Cambridge Shelter Corporation (CSC) for a loan not exceeding $750,000. The interest-free loan would be funded from the region's general operating cash flow, outside of the operating budget for the Bridges. 

The report highlights that in recent months, there have been concerns with the corporation's ability to "manage the finances and properly govern the programs operated at the Bridges."

This comes on the heels of a change in management at the Cambridge Shelter Corporation, with former executive director, Lynn Perry, leaving her position in May and Anne Tinker, former founding executive director of the Cambridge Shelter Corporation having been recently hired as interim director.

The report also states the Bridges has "accumulated significant debt" and the debt has negatively impacted its ability to provide services "contracted by the region." The loan would be used to help manage and stabilize finances, according to the report.

The decision will now go to regional council to be ratified. The next council meeting is Aug. 22. 


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