New Brunswick Tribune

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

A group is looking to provide unhoused people in Saint John with a place to live

Key takeaways:

  • Around 30% of the city’s reported unhoused population will get a holiday home thanks to a Saint John-based social assistance agency.
  • The Poverty and Social Inclusion Committee in Moncton believe that there are 200 people there.

A Saint John-based social assistance organization hopes to provide a holiday home for around 30% of the city’s documented unhoused population.

The Saint John Human Development Council is launching the In From the Cold campaign in the hopes of placing 30 individuals in subsidized housing by Christmas Day, which will free up shelter space to provide people with a safe and warm place to sleep.

According to Cathy Foote, the organization’s affordable housing specialist, approximately 100 unhoused people in the city.

She claims that 69 of them are categorized as chronically homeless.

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“What that means is that they have more mental health challenges, which makes staying in housing more difficult,” she explains.

She says they’re collaborating with property owners and other like-minded organizations to reach their target of 30, which she describes as a “manageable amount.”

Foote claims that while the COVID-19 outbreak has had an evident influence on the awareness of homelessness in Saint John, the numbers tracked by the city council are decreasing.

“We’re seeing more individuals sleeping in squalid situations,” she says, “but we know from our systems that we’ve been able to shelter 100 people in the last year or so.”

According to the Rising Tide Community Initiative, around 100 persons are living without a home in Fredericton.

Group looks to give unhoused people in Saint John a home for the holidays

The Poverty and Social Inclusion Committee in Moncton believe that there are 200 people there.

According to Foote, the council places five people a month into accommodation where they are expected to pay 30% of their salary in rent.

According to her, the new tenants are linked with mental health and/or addictions treatments as needed.

“First, we’ll shelter them, and then they’ll be able to work on those things.” If they choose to remain in the unit, that’s terrific, and we’ll continue to support them and check in on them,” Foote says.

“But it’s fine if they decide to move on and change areas or do something different.”

Foote claims they’ve already made enough arrangements to meet two-thirds of their goal just a week after commencing the campaign.

She invites anyone who requires assistance to contact local shelters or the Saint John Human Development Council immediately.

Source: Global News

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