Work to set-up Brantford’s temporary emergency shelter went right to the final hours prior to opening the doors to the city’s homeless at 8PM Monday.
The city’s Health and Human Services staff worked diligently to complete the set up of beds, desks, security and other amenities Monday afternoon at the shelter located at 180 Greenwhich Street.
The shelter is also only a stones throw away from one of the city’s many homeless encampments.
City Councillors voted unanimously in favour last month to use the former police station on Greenwich Street to increase the capacity of emergency shelter beds in the area. The city experienced a surge in demand for shelter services in October, when some had to be turned away.
Rosewood House has been made responsible for the shelter’s operations. Executive Director, Tim Philp, says this location differs from others in the city as it is available for overnight use only. Philp explains the shelter opens at 8PM and closes at 8AM. Those using the service will receive what they call a ‘food calendar’ which lists where meals are available throughout the day in the city. They will also be put in contact with Brantford’s Social Services department for further aid if desired.
“We have 50 beds here and eventually we may have a little room for a few more depending on what the weather is like. Our aim is not to turn anyone away. The whole purpose of the shelter is to make sure people don’t freeze to death this winter. I’m confident we’re going to be able to do that. I’m also confident that the operational procedures that have been put in place are friendly to the homeless people that need to use it.”Tim Philp, Executive Director, Rosewood House
The temporary shelter will be available now until April 30, 2020. The city says, the shelter will accept individuals who come directly to the location during operating hours, however, the Social Services Support Centre and the Salvation Army are the preferred points of entry and will have the most current and accurate information on bed availability.