PEI

P.E.I. announces new emergency housing initiatives

The P.E.I. government announced new partnerships Friday morning to provide emergency shelter for Islanders with nowhere else to go.

'We have started to implement concrete actions'

The province renewed its commitment to Bedford MacDonald House. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

The P.E.I. government announced new partnerships Friday morning to provide emergency shelter for Islanders with nowhere else to go.

The services will include warming shelters in Charlottetown and Summerside.

"We have started to implement concrete actions to ensure there is range of options available to support people facing homelessness," said Housing Minister Ernie Hudson in a news release.

Friday's announcement included:

  • Developing a warming centre with the Salvation Army in Charlottetown.
  • Creating a warming shelter and emergency shelter in Summerside in partnership with the Salvation Army.
  • Extending the hours of Upper Room Hospitality Ministry Soup Kitchen to act as a warming shelter.
  • Partnering with Harvest House in Charlottetown to establish a six-bed transition unit.

Renewed commitments

The transition beds would be for men needing longer-term shelter than what Bedford MacDonald House is designed to provide.

"When you're adding transitional beds to the equation, it's very much a good news story," said Mike Redmond, residential manager at Bedford MacDonald House.

"The action on the emergency warming shelters across the Island is another great news story … it shows we have a government that is putting words into action."

There's currently a waiting list for access to the 10 beds at Bedford MacDonald House, according to staff. It has also turned into a unofficial day-centre, with men, women and families dropping in, to warm up, rest, and use the showers and laundry. Renovations are currently underway to increase seating space in the kitchen, and to replace a wheelchair ramp.

The province also renewed its commitments to the Blooming House women's shelter in Charlottetown, Bedford MacDonald House, the street navigator program from Downtown Charlottetown Inc. and to continue offering case management services to people staying in emergency shelters.

The province also released a consultant's report on emergency shelter needs.

The report included 30 recommendations.

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