Thunder Bay·Audio

Shelter House 'not shut out totally' from Thunder Bay council funds

A Thunder Bay city councillor is reacting to a statement made Monday by the head of Shelter House after an appeal for increased funding from the city was rejected.

Homeless shelter director disputes recent committee decision on its appeal for increased funding

Funding for the $216,000-a-year SOS program comes from the city of Thunder Bay and the District Social Services Board. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

A Thunder Bay city councillor is reacting to a statement made Monday by the head of Shelter House after an appeal for increased funding from the city was rejected.

Patty Hajdu said some members of city council campaigned on issues of homelessness and compassion but then showed "no compassion in their funding decisions."

Thunder Bay councillor Andrew Foulds. (Jody Porter/CBC)
Current River councillor Andrew Foulds said Shelter House does amazing work, and that council has shown both compassion and a commitment to poverty reduction. 

“I believe that, in many respects, city council has a vision both in trying to manage poverty by increasing funding to Shelter House, funding to Lakehead Social planning, [and] funding to the RFDA.”

Foulds added that, as a city councillor, it is his job to show leadership on what he calls the "complex issue of poverty."

Thunder Bay councillor Larry Hebert. (Supplied)
​Coun. Larry Hebert noted Shelter House can still request more money from the city, despite the recent rejection letter.

Hebert, who is chair of the city's appeal committee for the Community, Youth & Cultural Funding Program, said the committee felt Shelter House was being dealt with fairly by council and chose not to green light the nearly $250,000 in extra support it requested. 

The shelter was only granted about half of the $500,000 it had requested under that city program.

Despite that decision, the Shelter has other avenues it can explore, Hebert said.

“They can always go to council on other stuff they are doing, as well. That doesn't mean they are shut out totally from money from council. But under our program, that's it for that program.”

Patty Hajdu is executive directer of Thunder Bay's Shelter House. (Joshua Lynn/CBC)
Hebert said the $255,000 earmarked for Shelter House did not include the $50,000 previously approved by council for the SOS outreach program. 

He said that additional money was obtained without any involvement of the appeals committee.    

Hebert says the shelter does good work and has a history of making a good case for additional funding.     

Here is some of what Hajdu and Foulds had to say about the funding situation, broadcast on Tuesday’s edition of CBC Thunder Bay’s Superior Morning radio program.

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