New initiatives will help ensure the safety and well-being of those experiencing homelessness in Nova Scotia.
“We want vulnerable Nova Scotians to have a safe, dignified place to sleep,” said Trevor Boudreau, Minister of Community Services. “The reasons for homelessness are varied and complex and the solutions we bring forward need to be, as well. We are working hard with municipalities, community partners and others to find supportive solutions that meet the needs of people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.”
Twenty-eight new supportive housing units in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) will provide 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals access to services and supports in an inclusive environment.
The North End Community Health Centre will provide 24/7 on-site support for people in the two buildings, including referrals to mental health and addictions counselling, employment services, skills training and more. Length of stay and services offered will be based on the needs of residents. One building has been filled and the second is expected to open this winter; all residents are from the By-Name List, a list kept by the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia of people who are homeless and looking for stable housing.
The new emergency shelter that opened in November at 197-199 Windmill Rd. in Dartmouth is also being expanded to 100 beds from 50, effective Saturday, December 9. Operated by 902 Man Up, the shelter is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and supports people of all genders, including youth aged 16 and older.
Outreach teams will continue to ensure people staying in encampments are aware of these options and how to access them.
The Province will also provide $650,000 to Shelter Nova Scotia to expand the team of outreach workers in HRM. This team will co-ordinate all outreach services across the municipality to reduce duplication of efforts and ensure that all people sleeping rough are connected to the services and supports they need to exit homelessness.
Preparation work continues for the arrival of shelters produced by Pallet. As sites are identified, the land will be cleared, then surveyed to determine the layout of the villages before water and sewer services are installed. The Department of Community Services will provide an update early in the new year.
Shelter Nova Scotia has a long history of supporting and empowering people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. Our model and scope of practice has evolved as society has required us to meet people wherever they are, not with only those who find us. We are pleased to be part of this solution to further care for Nova Scotians.
Linda Wilson, Executive Director, Shelter Nova Scotia
At the NECHC, we prioritize supported housing that meets the needs of the specific communities who experience homelessness, as well as those who face complex healthcare realities. We are pleased to be able to provide housing to those from the 2SLGBTGQQIA++ and 2STGD++ community in two new spaces where they can feel accepted, protected and safe.
Marie-France LeBlanc, CEO, North End Community Health Centre
- funding for the supportive housing properties comes from the Province’s Community Housing Acquisition Program (CHAP)
- the North End Community Health Centre received a $2.7-million low-interest mortgage through CHAP to purchase the supportive housing properties; the Department of Community Services is providing $605,696 in annual operational funding for the two buildings
- in the last two years, 449 new supportive housing units have been created, comprising 73 per cent of all units in the province
- the provincial government will provide an additional $5 million in funding to food banks and food security organizations across Nova Scotia
News release – New Lending Program Supports Affordable Housing: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20220713002
News release – Emergency Winter Shelter Opening in HRM: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20231103001
News release – HRM Shelter Opening, Expanding: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20231116001
Our Homes, Action for Housing: https://novascotia.ca/action-for-housing/
Pallet shelters: https://palletshelter.com/