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.