Anyone in need of emergency shelter in the province, should call the shelter support line 1-833-220-4722 for help.
Strong community partnerships will help enhance options for Islanders experiencing homelessness. Immediate actions include: adding transitional beds at Harvest House to support men; a continued partnership with Blooming House to support women; access to day time warming shelters and support services; and new partnerships to provide support to the Prince County area.
“We need to work together as a community to address the emergency shelter needs of Islanders and ensure that there are options available so no one has to be put in a dangerous situation,” said Minister of Social Development and Housing, Ernie Hudson. “We have started to implement concrete actions to ensure there is range of options available to support people facing homelessness.”
As part of the Housing Action Plan, an independent consultant carried out a community needs assessment to inform planning for emergency shelter on Prince Edward Island. The community needs assessment outlines 30 recommendations under three broad categories:
- Increase housing supply for emergency shelters, transitional housing, supportive housing and subsidized housing;
- Adopt a client-centred, collaborative approach; and
- Develop standard data collection approaches and common reporting.
View the report and government’s actions to address the recommendations here.
Government support and planning for shelter options across PEI:
Transitional housing for men
- Harvest House is developing a 6-bed transition unit for men at its current location at 243 University Avenue. The Province will provide financial assistance to support the necessary renovations to the building.
“Harvest House specializes in providing programs aimed at helping marginalized and at risk youth and adults with mentorship, education and spiritual well-being. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with other local agencies to provide necessary resources and housing for those in need.” – John Bennett, Executive Director, Harvest House
Continued support for women’s shelters in the province
- Blooming House is an 8-bed overnight shelter which has created a safe, non-judgmental and welcoming environment for vulnerable women who are experiencing homelessness in Charlottetown. The harm-reduction, low-barrier model at Blooming House ensures that Blooming House is able to serve all women, and those who identify as women, wherever they are in their journey.
“Since the beginning of our work, we have explored offering a wide range of services to better serve vulnerable women in Charlottetown. We look forward to continuing our work, our partnership with the government and the community, to provide the best care possible.” – Liz Corney, Co-founder and President, Blooming House
- The Province recently met with individuals in the Summerside area who want to support women in need in Prince County and agreed to provide financial assistance for the development of an operating plan.
- The Province continues to work with community partners to develop a model of service for 24/7 support for women in the province.
Partnering with the Salvation Army
- The Province continues its partnership with Salvation Army in Charlottetown to support Bedford-MacDonald House and the Salvation Army Food Bank. The Salvation Army will provide a warming centre for men and women during the day.
- In partnership with the Salvation Army in Summerside, the Province will help support an out of the cold shelter and emergency shelter for individuals in the Prince County area.
“The Salvation Army Summerside is pleased to see the proactive approach of the provincial government and is pleased to work with our partners in the provision of care to ensure our citizens have their basic needs met.” – Major Wayne Green, Salvation Army Summerside.
As a result of the COVID-19, Community Outreach Centre moves to new location to expand its capacity
The newly established Community Outreach Centre in Charlottetown has seen a large increase in the need for its services. In response to the demand, the centre moved down the street to a new location in the gymnasium of Birchwood School and opened on March 25.
“The need is growing with more people in quarantine and social distancing, and it is most difficult for those with no home and no resources,” says Valerie Clements, Administrator/Residential Worker. “With a bigger staff and a larger space, we are working to serve the additional clients who need help.
“We have sufficient food, because we have received large donations from local restaurants that have closed down. We have been purchasing other supplies that are running low. We are also purchasing food for people in transitional housing so that we can offer a food bank delivery service once a week for people who can’t get out.”
Meanwhile, Bedford Macdonald House, a shelter for men, is still open, but new rules are in place. “We are taking extra precautions,” says Valerie. “Residents are not allowed to have visitors, there is limited access to the house, and they are encouraged to not gather in groups.”
To volunteer or donate to either centre, call 902-892-9242. Visit https://www.facebook.com/Community-Outreach-Centre-105340931011107/
- The Upper Room Hospitality Ministry’s Soup Kitchen is reviewing options to remain open during the afternoon to provide a warm place for Islanders in need of shelter. The Province has offered support to assist.
Integrated support services
- The Province will continue to offer case management services to individuals currently staying at emergency shelters (when permitted by the shelter.)
- The Province continues to support Downtown Charlottetown Inc’s (DCI) Navigator Street Outreach program. The Navigator Street Outreach program provides homeless and street-involved individuals with support to address barriers to securing and maintaining employment and housing, support to navigate services around health, mental health and addictions support and partners with a variety of community agencies to ensure individuals receive the supports required to transition.
- The Province and is also partnering with DCI to provide a centrally located space to allow individuals in need of bridging support services or who require access to a phone or computer to drop in and get help. The location will support the work of the Street Navigator. The province’s housing navigator, as well as social support workers, will also use the location to help connect Islanders with provincial programs and services.
“DCI is so pleased to receive this level of support from our Government. The opportunity to participate in this new initiative is invaluable to our program and most especially the individuals whom rely on our services.” – Dawn Alan, Executive Director of Downtown Charlottetown Inc.
- The Province will continue to partner with transportation providers to ensure that Islanders can get to supports and shelters as required.
- The Province has provided a van to support the work of DCI’s Street Navigator.
Supports for families in need
- The Province will continue to provide housing alternatives for families in need of shelter through hotel partnerships until more permanent and appropriate options are available for families.