Emergency Shelter Pilot Program Comes To A Close

WELLANDThe seasonal emergency shelter pilot program has concluded.

The shelter (in the Welland Tennis Club building on Hooker Street) opened on February 2 and was operational on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Overall, the shelter welcomed 22 individuals for 89 stays, averaging three per night. There were five beds available. The shelter’s pilot program concluded on March 26.

“We knew the need for this shelter existed, and to have 89 stays over the pilot project period confirmed that,” said Ward 6 Coun. Bonnie Fokkens, who, along with Ward 3 Coun. John Chiocchio, brought forward a notice of motion to implement the shelter. “This project wasn’t perfect, there were things we could anticipate and those we couldn’t, but our partner response was always exceptional. We must now take what the data shows us and continue the discussions and work with other levels of government to help those in our community who need it most.”

As part of the project, shelter staff screened and engaged visitors, assisting in appropriate diversion practices for those in need. Ward 3 Coun. Sharmila Setaram assisted the project through regular public engagement with local residents.

In addition to partnering with the Hope Centre, the City also worked alongside Beyond the Streets Welland, Holy Trinity Church, and the Niagara Regional Police. 

A report will come to Council in the coming weeks with more detailed data and a complete project review. The City contributed $9,000 for this initiative through the Corporate Continency Fund, amended on January 17, 2023, and, as part of the aforementioned report, will receive an update on any additional costs incurred. 

Learn more about the Hope Centre at: https://thehopecentre.net/ 

Learn more about Beyond the Streets Welland at: https://www.beyondthestreetswelland.com/. 

Learn more about Holy Trinity Church at: http://www.holytrinitywelland.ca/.

(Attribution: City of Welland media release)

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