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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Keith Ivany is aware of what it feels wish to stay on the road, and he doesn’t need others to undergo the identical hardship.
The New Brunswick man is constructing what he calls a freedom bus, a 16-bunk shelter that may present homeless Islanders in Charlottetown with a spot to stay.
Ivany visited Charlottetown in December 2022 and was saddened to see the encampments the place individuals had been residing. He knew he needed to do one thing to assist.
“Mainly, I mentioned to God, properly, what would you like me to do there? He mentioned, ‘I would like you to purchase a bus’. I am going ‘okay,’ on the time I did not have any cash.’”
Ivany is the founding father of Atlantic Freedom Ministries, a faith-based group that gives assist for trauma victims.
With monetary assist from the group and different donations, Ivany was capable of kick-start the mission.
“I went to church buildings and began speaking to individuals and so they went, ‘Wow.’ Just like the gentleman that we purchased the bus from. It began off at $15,000 for the bus and anyway, by the point we received the bus, it solely price $8,000. He mentioned mainly, ‘If that’s what you are planning on doing with the bus, I am going to provide the bus for $8,000.’”
Ivany has turned the 44-seat automobile right into a 16-bunk cellular shelter with the assistance of volunteers, a number of of whom had been homeless in some unspecified time in the future of their lives.
“We had two gents, one, was a former addict … And between him and one other man, I’ve discovered that simply because individuals are addicts, doesn’t suggest they don’t seem to be gifted. That simply means they’re hurting.”
He mentioned the mission is pricey to him due to his personal time spent residing on the streets.
“I used to be an addict for 30 years myself. I do know what it feels wish to sleep on the concrete. I used to be a really dangerous addict due to a number of traumas up to now.”
The bus shelter will probably be out there to homeless individuals in Charlottetown for now. Individuals will probably be allowed to sleep there at evening.
Ryan MacRae, housing advocate on the Cooper Institute, mentioned despite the fact that initiatives like this may occasionally provide short-term options, longer-term plans are wanted to sort out homelessness.
“This is sort of a short-term short-term answer. And, , until we sort of have a extra long-term method to what is going on to occur to people who find themselves residing probably in tents … then this is not going to handle the issue.”
The inflow of homelessness must cease, MacRae mentioned.
Ivany’s bus is predicted to make its option to Charlottetown in early October.
He has been involved with native church buildings to safe a spot to park the automobile.
Vivian Ulinwa is a reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. She could be reached by e mail at [email protected].