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Gaps left by closure of only youth shelter beds in Sudbury

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On Monday, the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth permanently closed after its board revealed it was insolvent.

The move closed many programs for young people, including the only youth shelter beds in the city. As a temporary solution, the city is funding a youth warming centre at the Samaritan Centre.

Gabe Krauer, 22, is homeless and is using the centre.

“My family is homeless just as much as me and the toughest part about being homeless is dealing with the weather because it does get cold a night,” Krauer said.

For the past two nights, he stayed at the overnight youth warming centre that just opened at the Samaritan Centre. He was a regular client at SACY, which operated the only youth shelter beds in the city.

Gail Spencer, manager of housing stability and homelessness for the City of Greater Sudbury, said many adults that are experiencing homelessness now started their experience of homelessness as a youth. (Alana Everson/CTV News)

“Helped me when I was roaming the streets and homeless -- they helped me out big time,” Krauer said.

“They would always cook me food and stuff and give me comfort -- make me feel comfortable.”

He lives on $720 a month on ODSP because of his developmental disabilities. He said he’s grateful to have services like a place to shower and do laundry at the Elgin Street Mission located at the Samaritan Centre.

With the closure of SACY, the city is funding a temporary overnight warming centre for youth ages 16-24 upstairs at the Samaritan Centre.

“A lot of adults that are experiencing homelessness now started their experience of homelessness … as a youth,” said Gail Spencer, manager of housing stability and homelessness for the City of Greater Sudbury.

“We are really trying to head people off at the pass by providing youth with the specific supports that they may need.”

The city confirmed several community partners are discussing what vulnerable youth need right now and how to fill gaps left by the closure of SACY, including youth shelter beds.

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