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.