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Sault men's shelter gets new home

St. Vincent Place will turn shelter operations over to Canadian Mental Health Association
New base
Sault Ste. Marie's men's shelter is moving to the former Sacred Heart School site at 721 Wellington St. E., where it will be operated by Canadian Mental Health Association

Sault Ste. Marie's shelter for homeless men is moving east.

Mike Nadeau, chief administrative officer of District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board, announced Monday night that the shelter will move into the former Sacred Heart School building at 721 Wellington St. E.

There, it will share space with a previously announced ambulance base and the new home of the Neighbourhood Resource Centre.

The new shelter will no longer be operated by St. Vincent Place, Nadeau said during a presentation to City Council.

"Currently the men's shelter is managed and operated by Vincent Place. We've been having discussions with Vincent Place for about the last six months to a year."

"Vincent Place is going to get back into the transition housing business. They're going to still stay in their core business on food security, their thrift store, the meals, etc. etc."

"But they're going to stop, over time, providing the emergency shelter."

"I'm really excited to announce that Canadian Mental Health Association will be the service provider for the new men's shelter, which we do believe will bring a whole bunch of mental health and addiction services into the fold of the people who are staying in the emergency shelter."

Nadeau provided no timeline for the transition during his address to City Council, which was part of a presentation about a new community wellness bus aimed at alleviating addiction and mental health issues downtown.

Other news from Monday's City Council meeting:

  • councillors called on the Ontario government to immediately and fully fund a residential treatment facility to respond to a mental health and addiction crisis in Sault Ste. Marie. A resolution authored by Ward 2 Couns. Luke Dufour and Lisa Vezeau-Allen states that the province possesses the exclusive constitutional mandate to deliver healthcare services, but provincially mandated services in the Sault have been reduced by the closure of our detox facility without any announcement of other residential treatment options
  • a total of 60 new townhouse units in separate developments on Second Line West and a vacant block at Patrick Street and Wallace Terrace were approved
  • Métis Nation of Ontario was granted zoning approval for a new cultural centre at the former Church of St. John the Evangelist site at 138 John St., as well as an assembly hall in the former church hall at 136 John St. and office space in the former rectory at 134 John
  • the dirt walkway around Topsail Island will be paved to accessibility standards. The project will also complete a paved walkway around nearby Prince Island, burial place of John Prince, rumoured to have been a natural son of King George IV
  • they're going to experiment for six months with radar in our street lights
  • Hansen Signs of Moncton, NB was given a $333,909 contract for more wayfinding signage
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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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