Unsanctioned homeless shelter in Sudbury deemed unsafe
SUDBURY -- Earlier this week, the city deemed the building currently housing the unsanctioned shelter unsafe for its current uses without substantial renovations.
An order to remedy the unsafe conditions has been issued to the building's owner, in particular, an issue with the integrity of the stairwells in the facility.
"There is an order to comply by the building department about certain things, and I don't agree with that so I am in the process of appealing it before a judge," said Paul Temelini, the owner of the building which was the former Mine Mill Hall on Regent Street.
The organization said it opened the shelter out of necessity.
"This was opened because there just wasn't room in the other shelters. They were always filling up and people were left outside, they were sleeping outside, they needed a place and we offered the place," said Richard Pacey, a founder of Hope for Sudbury.
The owner of the building where the shelter is operating is emotional about the situation and said they are helping people who desperately need it.
"I was driving downtown a couple of weeks ago and the SPCA were picking up a dog and right next to them there is a human being that was standing there and they were freezing in 20 below zero and I said I am not going to tolerate this, this is nonsense," said Temelini.
In a statement the city said it's working to transition vulnerable people accessing services at the unsanctioned shelter to existing shelters and warming centres available within the city.
Two Sudbury City Councillors toured the shelter on Friday.
After the tour, said they want to work with Hope For Sudbury. The shelter is located in Councillor Mark Signoretti's ward.
"The commitment I indicated was to set up a meeting with the appropriate staff and the appropriate managers of the departments that need to be involved, and have that dialogue to see what the next steps would be," said Signoretti.
Councillor Geoff McCausland of a nearby Ward 4 said he wanted to see the shelter because he believes it's important to see things with our own two eyes and feels there is important and valuable work being done by the organization.
"Obviously there has been some kind of conflict to do with safety measures and so how do we make it safe? How do we make sure that this work can continue in a way that is safe for everyone involved," said McCausland.
Right now there are 24 people registered and staying at the shelter which is run solely by volunteers.