Brantford City Council has voted unanimously in favour of funding the city’s temporary winter warming centre on a full-time basis until spring.
The homeless shelter, located in the former police station at 180 Greenwhich Street, opened December 2nd. It currently operates daily on an overnight basis only, however demand required council to consider additional funding to support the new location 24-7.
During a special meeting, council decided to use $305 thousand from the city’s contingency fund to support the additional operations. The original cost allocated to for operating from 8AM – 8PM daily, from the beginning of December to end of April was $393 thousand, bringing the total budget for five months just under $700 thousand.
The city’s permanent homeless shelter, Rosewood House, has the responsibility to manage the temporary shelter as well. Executive Director, Tim Philp, says in order to increase the hours of operation significantly, more staff will need to be hired and trained. However, Philp also says he is confident the facility can be running 24 hours a day by next Monday, December 16th.
Philp also sends ‘kudos’ to council members for making the decision to support the community’s most vulnerable members. In the past week, 79 people have used the shelter, some repeatedly.
Council also agreed to prepare a homeless shelter strategy for next season (2020/2021) earlier in the year. The amendment, brought forward by Ward 1 Councillor, Jan Vanderstelt, requires a report to the Social Services committee by the end of May 2020.