Shelter set up for tenants from a Miramichi apartment building to close next week
Social Development suggests tenants look to private market for lodgings
A temporary shelter set up for tenants who were forced out of a Miramichi apartment building after it was declared unsafe will close on Monday, even though some residents have yet to find housing elsewhere.
Residents were given notice Tuesday from the Red Cross that funding from the Department of Social Development will soon be cut off and the shelter will close.
The letter also said that the Red Cross will assist residents until that time.
In an email to CBC News, Abigail McCarthy, a spokesperson for Social Development, said case managers are working with income assistance clients. However, with limited public housing available, the department is encouraging residents to seek housing on the private market.
- Miramichi tenants get 4 hours' notice to leave apartments deemed unsafe
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But Steve MacDonald, who has been living at the shelter since he was forced out of the building, said finding another apartment isn't an option for many tenants.
"I can't afford to pay first and last month's rent again," said MacDonald, adding he's on a fixed income because of medical problems.
"I just paid it, like, two days before this happened."
MacDonald said he'll probably have to go to another shelter. He's been unable to see his son since he doesn't have any housing.
MacDonald said accommodations at the shelter are fairly sparse. It consists of about 15 cots on a gym floor with no privacy.
He said some people come and go, opting to stay in a tent at the apartment site in good weather, but returning when it rains.
On average, there are between 15 and 20 people staying at the shelter.
MacDonald said the lack of privacy is causing a lot of stress.
"It's been since the 19th, I guess, when we were kicked out [since anyone's] had a moment of privacy," said MacDonald.
"You can't go for a walk, really, because you're still going to be going by people … there's been a lot of arguments, a lot of confrontations."
Brian Grosseth, who owns the apartments, said on June 24 that his goal was to get the residents back into the building as soon as possible.
CBC News attempted to contact Grosseth for an update Tuesday, but could not reach him.
MacDonald said it feels as if the tenants are being abandoned.
"From my understanding we're on our own," he said.
"I mean, the letter stated that we needed to find other accommodations, whether it be relatives or whatever."
With files from Viola Pruss and Shift