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Council willing to look at a warming/cooling center

By Tim Davidson Mar 24, 2023 | 11:06 AM

A Notice of Motion to create a 24 hour community warming/cooling center in Kenora has been fully endorsed by city council.

Kelsie Van Belleghem put forward the motion and says there a number of reasons to help support such a space.

“A myriad of benefits including reduced presence downtown, less of a burden on individuals, businesses and organizations,” Van Belleghem told coucil in making her Notice of Motion.

“Reduction in anti-social behavior by marginalized community members, less waste, reduced pressure on health care systems, and opportunities to connect people to community in a positive, purposeful way.”

Van Belleghem’s motion suggests other agencies work with the city’s soon to be hired Community Safety and Wellness Coordinator to look at the feasibility of potential locations.

“I’ve heard the calls that the city has to do something innumerable times.  I want to balance our mandate and the resources available to us, with the very real need in our community.”

Councillor Lindsey Koch agrees such as space is needed.

“We need to recognize this opportunity for immediate impact which includes preventing more death and other hardships for the street community.  This is something we can do in short order with partners, like community groups, which are willing and are indeed asking to take on a large portion of the work associated with such a space.”

The notice also calls for “an accessible area to align current and existing services and supports being provided as well as identify solutions to gaps in service.”


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