FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Social Development will provide funding to help establish temporary shelters for those in need of safe, secure housing during the winter months.

“We are glad to be able to provide assistance to those in housing need in the Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John areas,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard. “We are incredibly grateful to the municipalities and all of the community groups who have worked so hard with us to develop a solution, and we look forward to continuing to work with them as we address this issue.”

The government will also provide rent supplements to individuals who have been experiencing homelessness in those three regions. Clients receiving rent supplements will be offered a variety of complementary services, including mental health support and addictions services, to help them transition to a more permanent housing solution.

The department’s regional staff have met with municipal leaders and community support organizations, and will continue to work to find other options for people in need of housing.

“The Salvus Clinic is delighted to be a partner in this Out-of-the-Cold Shelter project which involves many other community agencies, such as the Province of New Brunswick and the City of Moncton and the YMCA’s Reconnect program,” said Dr. Susan Crouse, the clinic’s co-founder and executive director. “This funding will enable us to meet the immediate needs of this population, as well as address their longer-term needs for permanent supportive housing.”   

The department will provide $106,000 to create a shelter in the former fire station on Assomption Boulevard in Moncton. An additional $82,150 will be provided to create a shelter in Fredericton.

“I want to thank the provincial government for coming up with a plan so quickly, and we look forward to working with them to address homelessness in the Fredericton region,” said Faith MacFarland, co-ordinator of the Community Action Group on Homelessness in Fredericton. “It is a great demonstration of the government’s willingness to work with communities.”

An investment of $265,000 will go toward support services, such as mental health and addictions counselling, for those receiving rent supplements.

Work is already underway in all three communities to help provide both temporary and permanent housing for those in need.