North Bay YMCA to become temporary homeless shelter
Facility should help accommodate physical distancing, social services director says
The need for physical distancing and a growing demand for shelter is behind some changes in North Bay.
Mark King, the chair of the Nipissing District Social Services Administration Board, says the YMCA in the centre of North Bay will open as the new emergency homeless shelter tomorrow.
Two smaller overnight shelters, the Gathering Place and the one in a former restaurant, will close.
King says a 10-bed shelter located in the former restaurant was being overwhelmed with thirty people.
"I think once we recognized the COVID-19 issue, the fact that distancing is a big problem, the centre was shut down early Sunday morning forcing a number of people onto the street," King said.
The new space at the YMCA allows for distancing, and will provide beds for 35 people and five staff, King said.
"You know obviously the facility will provide a method to separate people that are showing signs of COVID-19 because it is a fairly large facility," King said.
The Gathering Place will still serve meals but it will no longer provide overnight shelter.