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Province to add medical clinic to Dartmouth hotel shelter

By Evan Taylor Apr 21, 2023 | 1:33 PM

The hotel in Dartmouth which is being converted into a homeless shelter will soon add a medical clinic. Photo: Hilton Hotels.

Nova Scotia is set to open a unique clinic that will provide care for homeless individuals and reduce visits to emergency departments and walk-in clinics. The clinic will also decrease the length of hospital stays for homeless patients who require recovery time after being discharged from the hospital. The initiative is a collaborative effort between the departments of Health and Wellness, Community Services, Labour, Skills and Immigration, Seniors and Long-Term Care, the Office of Addictions and Mental Health, and Nova Scotia Health.

The new clinic, which will be located in a former hotel on Wyse Road near downtown Dartmouth, will provide on-site clinic access for shelter residents as well as community members referred for nursing care by Nova Scotia Health. The clinic will operate seven days a week, and an on-site support team will provide wraparound support for residents and prepare them for independent living.

The clinic will offer a transitional option for homeless individuals, who previously had nowhere else to go but emergency rooms or occupy hospital beds for longer than necessary. Non-healthcare referrals to the shelter will be done by Welcome Housing and Adsum for Women and Children, the service providers that currently operate the Shelter Diversion Support program.

The Province is investing almost $14 million in the project, with $10 million for the lease and $3.85 million for services. The contract with the former hotel runs from May 1 to March 24, 2024. Community Services is providing about $2.5 million for operational funding, Health and Wellness is providing $1 million in funding for the clinic, and Seniors and Long-Term Care is providing $350,000 for nursing and home support staff.

Laura MacKay, Executive Director of Welcome Housing, said, “Direct and timely access to health services is a barrier that many of our unhoused neighbours experience that can directly impact their ability to secure safe, affordable housing. While we continue to work towards developing long-term affordable housing solutions, these partnerships are a significant step forward for our city and province and will have a far-reaching impact for those in the most need.”

Sheri Lecker, Executive Director of Adsum for Women and Children, added, “We’re pleased to be collaborating with the Province to bring more unhoused people in out of the elements. We’re eager to be part of this new shelter model that will also expand access to healthcare to some of the most marginalized members of our community.”

The Province currently rents rooms in hotels across Nova Scotia, including at the Wyse Road location.


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