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Friday, June 22, 2012

A little can go a long way

RDN doles out homelessness grant money

While the amount might seem small it can have a huge impact. The monies allocated to the Unitarian Shelter helped to make it available for the chronically homeless every night from November through March. Had the funds not been available the shelter would have only been open on nights deemed extreme. There is a very thin line between cold wet weather and extreme weather and being open every night allowed the homeless the security of knowing there was somewhere to get out of our traditionally wet winter nights. I have no doubt whatsoever this saved lives.

Sadly it looks like the Unitarians are going to drop the Cold Weather aspect of the shelter opting just to do it on extreme days. It is hoped that they will change their mind or at least allow another organization to operate during the Cold Weather at the same location. If another group were to end up having to take it on at a new location it would add extensively to the cost in having to purchase cots etc. and lease space.

While I truly appreciate the work the Unitarians have done in the past they have now, in my opinion, become part of the problem. They have the capacity to do the cold weather and choose not to because it is easier for them. Nanaimo needs this; a shelter that operates every night from November through March and it will continue to need it until the new Supportive Housing gets built.

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