Minister’s Statement on the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre
NOTE: The following is a statement from L’nu Affairs and Community Services Minister Karla MacFarlane.
Our first concern as a Department is always the safety and well-being of the clients we serve, and that will not change. Our work in supporting those experiencing homelessness is a priority.
Recently, there has been information being reported about the closure of the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre emergency shelter that I would like to address.
I need to make this abundantly clear: our government has not pulled, stopped or denied funding to the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre emergency shelter.
The centre has funding and will continue to receive funding from the Province for as long as they choose to remain a shelter operator.
The Province approved $850,000 in funding to the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre for emergency shelter placements until May 31, 2022, at which time the new Diamond Bailey House will open and Indigenous clients will transition. Recently, we announced $1.6 million for the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre to operate the Diamond Bailey House. An additional $76,000 will be provided in the first year for start-up costs.
The Province is working in partnership with the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre on its restructuring to ensure that culturally appropriate services are available to urban Indigenous Nova Scotians. We are always focused on the safety and well-being of homeless individuals staying in shelters and culturally safe places play a critical role in reducing harm.
We will continue to move quickly with a variety of interventions and supports to ensure those who need help receive it. We value our community partners and recognize the invaluable role they play in supporting vulnerable Nova Scotians.