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Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,
The Native Women’s Mountain View emergency shelter on Rosedene Avenue announced on Thursday that it will be closing its doors this summer to better streamline the services it offers.
In response to the announcement, the city has pledged to reallocate the funding of the 15 beds to other agencies serving women who have become homeless.
Janice Lewis-Deeley, president of the Native Women’s Centre board told the Spectator the decision to close the emergency shelter as of June 30 was difficult to make.
She told the Spec that the closure comes after a “great deal of thought and consideration” to “streamline” services “to align more” with its mission. She went on to say that; “our goal is to ensure that there is no gap in services or for the women who are using the 15 emergency shelter beds during this transition.”
Although the Mountain View location will be losing its emergency shelter, it will continue to run programming that is integral to the community, such as:
- Transitional Housing Support which assists residents in securing transitional and/or permanent housing
- Providing information and referrals for legal, medical, financial, housing or employment services
- Providing access to Traditional Native methods of healing while remaining sensitive to other cultures
- Life skills programs, weekly in house educational and informative groups
- Listen and support in any way they can
- Help regain the confidence of strength to live healthy, independent lives
Paul Johnson, general manager of healthy and safe communities, told the Spec that the city is working with agencies to find a “temporary interim and permanent solution” for the 15 beds for single women.
That includes advice from the Women’s Housing Planning Collaborative and the expanding housing and support services for women and transgender community subcommittee.
Currently in the city, there are 46 women’s emergency shelter beds in the city – including Mountain View.
According to Johnson, the decision made by the Native Women’s Centre board was not due to financial problems or issues with the city.
“This was a decision by the organization on how to focus their work”, he told the Spec.
It won’t be hard to reallocate the 15 beds in the local network, said Johnson, noting it’s a “matter of timing.”
An interesting note from the article was when Johnson went on to say that this scenario also presents an opportunity to possibly expand the women’s shelter system, he said.
Johnson told the Spec that it could mean more costs, but working with “economies of scale,” rather than scattering beds across the city is a possibility.
In the City of Hamilton, safe beds for homeless women are in short supply. Shelters hover around 100% capacity, meaning many individuals are turned away on a nightly basis.
Council will be presented with more information next month on the ongoing efforts to reallocate the 15 beds.
Questions or concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.