Too many people do not have a place to call home and the COVID-19 pandemic is making their situation even worse. Public health protocols such as physical distancing mean fewer beds are available at a time when more people need them. That’s why the province is taking further steps to address homelessness in Halifax.
A total of 40 beds will be added at two new locations in peninsular Halifax. The province will provide funding for 25 beds operated by the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, and 15 beds operated by the North End Community Health Centre.
“With COVID-19 circulating in our communities, and winter at our doorstep, having more people living without shelter creates unacceptable health and safety concerns,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Chuck Porter. “This investment will replace beds lost when shelters had to remove beds due to physical distancing requirements and add new ones to our shelter system.”
Both organizations expect to open in the coming days and be fully operational by the end of the year. The agreements will be in place until Dec. 31, 2021.
Our new initiative will provide immediate temporary housing for some of our community’s most vulnerable individuals. This funding gives us 12 months to work with our provincial, municipal and community partners to create permanent solutions for those experiencing homelessness.
Marie-France LeBlanc, executive director, North End Community Health Centre
We have seen our homeless client numbers double since the beginning of the pandemic. This support from the province could not come at a more pivotal time as it will help the growing number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who are struggling to find affordable housing in the middle of this unparalleled health crisis.
Pam Glode-Desrochers, executive director, Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre
- since March 22, the province has been under a state of emergency as a result of COVID-19
- since April 1, 647 people have been housed by provincially funded housing support workers
- the province is investing up to $1.7 million in this project
Housing action plan: https://housing.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/NS_Housing_Action_Plan_2019.pdf
Municipal Affairs and Housing Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/dma_ns