Summerside men’s shelter expected to open in early April
COLIN MACLEAN colin.maclean @journalpioneer.com @JournalPEI
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – After being delayed by a few months, Summerside’s new emergency men’s shelter is now slated to open in early April. The shelter, the first to cater to male clients in Summerside, originally had an opening date set for January. After several weeks of delays, the new target for starting client intake is April 1. Shelley Cole, manager of housing services for the Department of Social Development and Housing, said it took a little longer than anticipated for the previous tenant to vacate the building, located at 287 Winter St. Then, the renovations ran into unexpected delays. The physical work to the home is starting to wind down, she added. “I think we’ve moved along at a pretty good pace, all things considered. Back in October when we started these conversations, we were absolutely hopeful that we would have the shelter beds available in January, but one thing becomes the function of another.” Once the renovations are complete, the building will be turned over to the Native Council of P.E.I., which has been contracted by the province to operate the facility. The shelter will offer six beds and will be open and staffed 24 hours per day. In addition to finding a place to stay out of the elements, clients will also be able to avail themselves of various programming, including physical and mental health, addictions treatment and long-term housing assistance. Scott Carnall, housing development officer for the Native Council of P.E.I., said the organization is hiring eight new staff for the shelter, as well as finalizing their procedures and guidelines. “It’s coming along. It’s one of those things where we’re so close, but there are still things that need to be done and we need to make sure they’re done properly,” said Carnall. “The renovations at the house are being done ... so it’s an inviting and warming space to be. And it’s all about providing that wrap-around support and care and making sure that we’re addressing these needs that these people have, moving forward, and creating a bit more of a stable situation for them.” Anyone, regardless of gender, in need of emergency shelter at any time can call the province’s 211 helpline.