News release

Addressing Homelessness in Rural Nova Scotia

Emergency interim funding will stabilize rural emergency shelters run by seven organizations across the province and ensure more access to housing and services this winter.

“Homelessness is not just an urban problem,” said Karla MacFarlane, Minister of Community Services. “We are making investments that ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to the help they need in all parts of the province. This funding will help organizations meet the growing community need for emergency housing and services.”

The following organizations will each receive $20,000 to fund housing support services and hotel rooms when shelters are at capacity or for people better served within a hotel environment:

  • Viola’s Place, New Glasgow
  • Cape Breton Community Housing Association, Sydney and Port Hawkesbury
  • YMCA Cumberland, Amherst
  • Truro Housing Outreach Society, Truro
  • South Shore Open Doors Association, Bridgewater
  • The Portal Youth Outreach Association, Kentville
  • A Roof Over Your Head, Antigonish.

In addition, the Pictou County Roots for Youth Society will receive $61,641 to reduce its reliance on volunteers and hire trained support staff skilled at helping vulnerable youth stabilize their lives as they transition to independence.


This funding has the ability to save a life on a cold winter night when there is no shelter or housing available. Access to these funds offers the first step to navigating individuals closer to a safer and happier life that every human deserves. Lisa Deyoung, Manager, Viola’s Place

Housing insecurity and homelessness has impacted the health and well-being of rural Nova Scotians for many years, and for many years, agencies have worked around the clock finding creative ways to stretch limited resources to keep people safe and housed. We are very thankful for the support from the Province of Nova Scotia and are confident this fund will increase our capacity to provide adequate resources for community members who find themselves in situations of housing insecurity and homelessness. We look to the future with excitement, as we continue to develop our relationship with the Province of Nova Scotia and the local community. Lisa Ryan, Executive Director, South Shore Open Doors Association

We appreciate the partnership of Community Services in providing for those immediate sheltering and housing needs of members of our community. Sometimes, regular sources of funding like income assistance are not available or there are additional needs that cannot be accessed in a timely fashion. Emergency funding can make all the difference in making sure someone can stay safely accommodated, by preventing eviction or securing desperately needed funds for a young person, a family, or an adult. Russ Sanche, Executive Director, Portal Youth Outreach Association

This funding will provide the foundation for the organization to change lives in Pictou County. Angie Degaust, Executive Director, Pictou County Roots for Youth

Quick Facts:

  • there are 225 shelter beds in Nova Scotia, including 71 outside Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM)
  • 25 shelter beds previously provided by Out of the Cold in Halifax have been transitioned to permanent supportive housing
  • emergency accommodations are available in HRM through the Province’s Shelter Diversion Support Program
  • Pictou County Roots for Youth operates a shelter for youth aged 14 to 24 at 603 East River Road in New Glasgow

Additional Resources:

Viola’s Place:

Pictou County Roots for Youth:

Mandate letter of the Minister of Community Services: