News release

Minister's Statement on the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre

NOTE: The following is a statement from Karla MacFarlane, Minister of Community Services and Minister of L'nu Affairs.

I am deeply saddened by the decision of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre to close the North Park Street shelter on December 31. The centre remains a valuable partner.

We are always focused on the safety and well-being of homeless individuals staying in shelters, and we recognize culturally safe places play a critical role in reducing harm.

The Department of Community Services will work collaboratively with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre to transfer people to a hotel where they will receive supports to help them move into the community once ready. The $850,000 that was committed to flow to the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre emergency shelter will instead now be directed toward the hotel costs.

In addition, the Province recently 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 Diamond Bailey House is expected to open in the spring.

Our first concern is always the well-being of the clients we serve. The Department of Community Services will continue to move quickly with a variety of interventions and supports to ensure those who need help receive it.

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Media Contact:

Lisa Jarrett
Community Services Cell: 902-478-9954 Email: