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Brandon Maguire leaves the Liberal Party to become new Minister of Community Services.

A lease extension for The Bridge shelter in Dartmouth

By Caitlin Snow Mar 7, 2024 | 2:33 PM

A new shelter in Dartmouth is going to be open for a while longer.

The Bridge, formerly the DoubleTree hotel, is a first-of-its-kind, integrated services shelter that has provided a roof for about 185 people experiencing homelessness.

The province says Community Services is going to spend $19 million to extend its lease until March 31, 2025.

Executive Director for Adsum for Women and Children, Sheri Lecker says, thanks to continued funding, nearly 200 people every day will have access to safe shelter, food and basic health services.

“The continued need for shelter isn’t a cause for celebration but until solutions to homelessness are realized, The Bridge serves as a lifeline for hundreds of our neighbours.”

The province says since it opened last spring, it has also put a dent in the amount of ER visits and long-term hospital stays, due to more than 1,900 visits to its on-site health clinic.

An average of 125 people access the clinic every month.

In addition to that, Minister of Community Services, Brendan McGuire says, 42 people have advanced on to housing options including a mix of private, non-profit and public housing.

Proof, he says, the “system is working.”

There are now 588 shelter beds in Nova Scotia, 400 in HRM.

The Bridge opened in May 2023.