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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Shelters in Charlottetown are seeing fixed use that has them at or close to capability most nights.
Town provides a number of in a single day shelters, with companies for all genders and folks dwelling with habit. Nonetheless, with the variety of unhoused Islanders rising in recent times, area is proscribed throughout the shelter system.
Bedford MacDonald Home
The Salvation Military’s Bedford MacDonald Home, an in a single day emergency shelter for males in Charlottetown, is utilizing most of its 10 beds every evening.
When these beds are full, Bedford MacDonald has two overflow areas, mentioned Martin Dutton, government director of homelessness companies for Charlottetown Salvation Military, in a Feb. 16 SaltWire Community interview.
“The parents that we see are of us that typically are within the homeless inhabitants which were constant customers of the shelter system.”
Whereas the shelter is near full a lot of the time, overflow is rare. When wanted, the shelter’s lounge has partitions that enable the room to be cut up into short-term bedrooms. The aim is to switch this with everlasting partitions, Dutton mentioned.
The shelter is classed as “low-barrier” which implies it accepts people who find themselves intoxicated however doesn’t enable substance use on-site. There’s, nonetheless, some confusion within the public about what this actually means, Dutton mentioned.
If somebody exhibits up who’s aggressive or is a menace to themselves or others, they might not get an area or could possibly be ejected, he mentioned.
“If someone is so intoxicated that they’re aggressive, then you must do not forget that there are different people who find themselves additionally weak within the constructing.”
To achieve this level, although, somebody must be in a reasonably extreme state of intoxication. And if that’s the case, that particular person may very well must go to a hospital and never only a shelter, Dutton mentioned.
Calls to 211 elevated
Bedford MacDonald shouldn’t be the one shelter seeing elevated use, as housing wants are on the rise throughout P.E.I.
Calls to 211 for assist with housing and meals rose by 19 per cent within the first six months of 2022 in comparison with the identical interval in 2021, mentioned a Feb. 10 press launch from the United Approach, which operates 211 traces in Canada.
Park Avenue Emergency Shelter is one place individuals struggling are directed after they name 211.
Like Bedford MacDonald, use has been excessive at Park Avenue since its 50 items opened in December 2022. A Jan. 31 e mail from the Division of Social Growth and Housing mentioned the division is a contingency plan for overflow area and extra cots.
Nobody had been turned away from Park Avenue as of Jan. 31 for capability points, the assertion mentioned.
“If Park Avenue Emergency Shelter is working at capability however somebody exhibits up and wishes a mattress, employees will join with different shelter suppliers or make alternate preparations for emergency shelter.”
Whereas beds could be booked for as much as 30 days at Park Avenue, no-shows could lose their area for the evening in the event that they don’t arrive by midnight, the assertion provides.
With the opening of Park Avenue, strain on Bedford MacDonald has dropped some, Dutton mentioned.
Alternatively, totally different demographics have a tendency to make use of totally different shelters. Park Avenue sees extra individuals impacted by current spikes in inflation and very low housing availability, whereas Bedford MacDonald serves extra Islanders who’ve been unhoused for a very long time, Dutton mentioned.
In January, Blooming Home, Charlottetown’s shelter for ladies, was at 78 per cent occupancy, with eight nights being completely full, mentioned Brynn Devine, government director of Blooming Home, in a Feb. 11 e mail.
“That’s been the case since September, fluctuating between 75-85 per cent occupancy. We’re full a few quarter of the time.”
Blooming Home doesn’t have an overflow room as a result of it will violate fireplace code, Devine mentioned.
“If we’re full, then we work with the shelter help line to help female-identifying friends to search out appropriate shelter.”
Logan MacLean is a variety reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached by e mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @loganmaclean94.