Sudbury takes its next step in addressing homelessness
City council in Greater Sudbury has directed staff to get a nine-bed women’s shelter up and running while putting a priority on permanent housing solutions.
It’s part of the continuing effort to address the homelessness situation.
“City council decided to fund three different efforts. To get more people housed, to keep more people housed and to support those who are left those who aren’t wanting, ready or able to be housed with expanded shelter capacity,” said Ward 4 coun. Geoff McCausland.
According to numbers presented at Tuesday’s council meeting, there are currently 65 shelter beds and 40 warming spaces. As of Monday, staff said there were 50 people living in Memorial park and another 25 outdoors at 199 Larch.
From a flex fund to a master lease, McCausland said city staff are using innovative options.
“They don’t have the money to get back to their home community reunite with their family, so it could be all kinds of different things. It’s really a matter of what do we need the funding to make it work, so that’s flex funds and master leasing. We don’t have enough affordable housing units so instead of taking the time to build them let’s lease them,” he said.
Mayor Brian Bigger said he’s proud of the work that has been accomplished, but said ultimately the root issue of why people are homeless is not being addressed.
“Provincial supports for mental health for addictions for a living wage for Ontarians is really one of the biggest challenges, and it’s been laid to rest in front of our city council to solve these issues and I’m not feeling the support from Premier Ford,” said Bigger.
He said this is just the beginning and the city will have a supervised consumption site up and running by March and transitional housing in place by the end of 2022.
“Council has had to step up we were unable to wait any longer if we were forced to wait for the province we’d have none of this on our radar,” Bigger said.
Bigger said while there is capital funding in place for the project’s operational costs are still not covered, money is the responsibility of the province.