Emergency shelter program puts up 127 Islanders in hotels

More than 100 Islanders used hotel rooms for emergency shelter through a pilot program on P.E.I. that started last November.

On average people stayed in the hotel for 19 nights

Between November 2018 and August of this year, 127 people were given free hotel rooms as part of a pilot project run through the province and Family Violence Prevention Services. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

More than 100 Islanders used hotel rooms for emergency shelter through a pilot program on P.E.I. that started last November.

Between November 2018 and the end of August 2019, 127 people were given free rooms.

On average, people stayed in the hotel for 19 nights and most of the use was during winter.

So far the province said the program has cost about $213,000.

The pilot program, run through the P.E.I. government and Family Violence Prevention Services, provides Islanders in urgent need of shelter with a hotel room.

People can call a toll-free number if they don't have a safe or sustainable place to stay for the night.

Those in need can find shelter while they work with government or community organizations to find a more permanent housing solution. 

A sense of shelter needs

The pilot program was created with the aim of getting a better sense of what the Island's shelter needs are, including which demographics are using shelter services on P.E.I. and how often. 

Further details will be released in the coming weeks once the province has completed a full assessment of the program. 

The province said it has mainly used two hotels on the Island — one for individuals and another for families.

Islanders can call a hotline for support if they are in urgent need of shelter. (Tammy MacKinnon/Facebook)

Officials said the hotel and motel option continues to be offered to people in need.

The province hasn't fully released its emergency housing plan for the coming winter.

Officials said they're looking at possibly adding more beds, expanding access to transportation and creating warming centres so people have somewhere to go during the day. 

The province also directs people to four shelters in Charlottetown and one on Lennox Island.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Donna Allen


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