Search for location for temporary men's shelter in Sudbury continues
Two potential sites in Donovan did not work out, CMHA says
Two potential sites for a temporary men's shelter in Sudbury's Donovan neighbourhood have been turned down after consultations with would-be neighbours.
That now leaves the city's most vulnerable searching for a place to sleep
Marion Quigley, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association Sudbury Manitoulin said that renovations to the permanent Off the Street shelter will not be finished until November.
Until then, the search for a location will continue.
"Currently in our community we have a shelter for women and children. So youth and women have a place to sleep," Quigley said. "Men or people who identify themselves as male do not have any location because of the Salvation Army closing."
"The city was asking us to find a temporary location."
In May, the Salvation Army Men's shelter on Larch Street was forced to close after costs to repair the building became prohibitive.
The preferred location for a new shelter would provide services to approximately 20 people. Those people will be some of the city's homeless, or as Quigley says "they could be going and spending the night currently with a friend or sleeping in a tent or under a staircase."
Quigley says that shelter staff have already been hired and are being trained now, and that once a new location is found, it won't take long to get the shelter up and running.
But a proposal to find a location in the Donovan didn't sit well with some people in the neighbourhood. Ward 4 councillor Geoff McCausland went door-to-door to canvas households, but even after hearing their concerns says he was impressed with the level of empathy.
"It's only a gap for a few months and unfortunately there's been a lot of pushback," McCausland said. "And I was hopeful that we could've found a good home in the Donovan area."
"A lot of those people are already living there whether it's in a tent or whether it's in the woods or even on the streets themselves. And so if those are already our neighbours. They're already part of our community."
"I would love to see if we could have made it work," he added. "I was always blown away when I went from door to door at the level of empathy, it's really quite incredible. I mean people get it."
"People have neighbours who've been through things and they can appreciate it the way that a lot of people might not be able to."