PEI

P.E.I. Community Outreach Centre could move, says minister

Complaints from neighbours of the new Community Outreach Centre in Charlottetown are valid, says Social Development Minister Brad Trivers, and the province is working to solve those problems.

‘Their concerns are valid, and we are taking steps to mitigate those things’

Determining a location for the Community Outreach Centre is an ongoing process, says Social Development Minister Brad Trivers. (Kin Linton/CBC)

Complaints from neighbours of the new Community Outreach Centre in Charlottetown are valid, says Social Development Minister Brad Trivers, and the province is working to solve those problems.

Moving the centre from its current location in the old curling club on Euston Street is an option.

"If there was another location that everybody deemed was better, I mean, obviously we consider it. But right now, this is the best location we have," Trivers told Island Morning host Laura Chapin.

The centre offers support for people in need of financial assistance, connects them with government programs and service organizations, and also makes laundry and computer services available. Some neighbours have complained about illegal drug use, nudity and threats since the new outreach centre opened in June

"I feel for them. It is tough," said Trivers.

"I think their concerns are valid, and we are taking steps to mitigate those things."

Mixed messages

Trivers acknowledged those improvements are not happening as quickly as he would like.

His department has been consulting with the working group in charge of the centre, and with the Salvation Army, which operates it. He called those people the real experts on making sure the centre operates well for everyone, including the neighbours.

The Community Outreach Centre moved into the old Charlottetown Curling Club in June. (CBC)

Trivers said he is getting mixed messages about whether the local community supports the centre. Local city councillors are saying it doesn't, and the local MLA says it does.

As far as the search for a new location is concerned, Trivers said that will be an ongoing process.

"There's no deadline on that. We'll continuously work to find the best location," he said.

"And of course, we have to work with the City of Charlottetown, because really this is in their jurisdiction and they're our key partners in this."

The outreach centre will have an open house on Sept. 11. Trivers said that will be an opportunity for the local community to see and understand better the work that is being done there.

With files from Laura Chapin

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