Nfld. & Labrador

Shelter funding comes through in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, while housing group still looking

The shelter in Happy Valley-Goose Bay will be able to keep its doors open for at least another year, but another housing group is having a harder time landing funding for an outreach co-ordinator.

The homeless shelter in the community has received its funding for the year

Jackie Compton-Hobbs remains hopeful that funding will be secured to fund a outreach co-ordinator. (Katie Breen/cbc)

The Housing and Homeless Coalition in Happy Valley-Goose Bay says it still hopes it will land the money needed for a co-ordinator, even though it has received another rejection. 

Last spring, the group applied for funding for the position, which would help with outreach and other initiatives with the transient population in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. That request was not approved. 

Coalition chair Jackie Compton-Hobbs said she's looking elsewhere for the money for what she sees as a very important position. 

"I'm hopeful that in the future there may be some money under the part of Aboriginal Indigenous funding," Compton-Hobbs said.

"I think an outreach co-ordinator is an important position to be housed out of the housing hub. They could go out into the community, work with the people that are out there that need assistance."

The shelter in Happy Valley-Goose Bay has received funding to keep its doors open this year (Katie Breen/CBC)

Shelter gets funding for another year

Another group in the same town recently got some good news on the financial front. 

A shelter in Happy Valley-Goose Bay got the money it needed to keep its doors open this year. The shelter offers people a hot meal, a place to sleep and in some cases, a lifeline.

Amos Semigak said the shelter has helped him immeasurably since he moved to Happy Valley-Goose Bay from Hopedale in 2018.

"Coming here in Goose Bay, at least I have a chance staying at the homeless shelter, at the hub. And that's what's keeping me alive right now," Semigak said.

Compton-Hobbs said while it's great the shelter is staying open, core funding would allow it to operate full time. Currently, its hours of operation are 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. 

Homeless people sometimes stay in temporary camps set up in the woods around Happy Valley-Goose Bay. (Katie Breen/CBC)

"Obviously the shelter is well needed in this community, and I think we all know that is not going anywhere. So it's time that we sat down and looked at the long-term solution to the shelter," she said.

Compton-Hobbs added the coalition is working with the Salvation Army and other partners around the community to establish a safe sober house to open up in the future, and she hopes the now-vacant outreach co-ordinator position will be filled.

"I'm hopeful that this position will be successful in the very near future," she said.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Jonny Hodder