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Province Provides $8M To Combat Homelessness

By Tamara Steele Oct 20, 2022 | 2:57 PM

wonderferret / CC

The Higgs government will invest $8 million over three years to support emergency shelters and reduce chronic homelessness.

The move doubles the amount given to emergency shelters by the Department of Social Development to more than $5 million a year.

“The impacts of the growing number of people who are confronted with homelessness are being felt everywhere in our province, more often in urban areas,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard in a news release.

“I am pleased to see the provincial government will provide more financial support to help the development of long-term, permanent solutions to end chronic homelessness. We particularly want to ensure emergency shelter funding will be equitable across the province.”

The funding boost for emergency shelters intends to contribute to better outcomes for clients, like identifying short-term supportive alternatives to shelters and helping clients to find stable housing.

Funding will be based on services provided, such as the provision of meals and community space, the acuity level of residents, and hours of operation.

The province will require that shelters have plans in place to increase the number of beds available during extreme weather.

Nine emergency shelters in New Brunswick have a total of 274 beds.

Occupancy rates in Moncton, Saint John, and Fredericton averaged 86 per cent during the 2021-22 fiscal year.

From Nov. 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, occupancy rates were 66 per cent in Bathurst and 94 per cent in Miramichi.

At the end of August, 519 people were known to be experiencing homelessness in Moncton, Saint John, and Fredericton.

Of that number, 392 were experiencing chronic homelessness, which means having at least six months of homelessness in the past year or having recurrent cases of homelessness totalling at least 18 months over the past three years.


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