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Temporary Emergency Shelter Opens

Thursday February 25th, 2021, 11:19am


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City of Windsor photo

A temporary emergency shelter at the downtown pool is now open.

Within five days of an order issued by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit to the Downtown Mission restricting access to new clients, City staff, support agency workers, and a team of carpenters have transformed the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre into a temporary emergency shelter.

The temporary emergency shelter will provide individuals experiencing homelessness with a safe, well-controlled place to stay. It will allow the Mission to focus on its operations and comply with the conditions of the health unit’s order so it may be lifted and they can safely and effectively resume operations.

It will also provide proper and thorough training in shelter supports and infection prevention and control to Mission staff working on site.

Strict infection prevention and control measures have been implemented, and the physical location has been altered to ensure strict adherence to public health guidelines to prevent COVID-19. Activities and meals are provided to guests, and specific areas have been designated for meals and sleeping. The facility will have a capacity of 75 people.

The Downtown Mission has entered into a Collaboration Management Support Agreement with Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario (ALSO), the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Family Services Windsor Essex (FSWE), and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) for the aquatic centre location.

“An unprecedented amount of work went into opening a fully operational emergency shelter in a matter of days,” said Jelena Payne, Commissioner of Community Development and Health Services. “Not only does this facility provide a safe environment for guests, it serves as a training opportunity as well. Staff worked around the clock to make this happen, so guests of the Mission have a safe place to go. Now that the site is open, City staff will turn the day-to-day operations over to the coalition. City staff will continue to operate the two isolation and recovery centres for individuals experiencing homelessness who need to isolate due to COVID.”

The community coalition will operate the temporary emergency shelter until March 29th, 2021.

It is expected that, at that time, the facility will be decommissioned and returned to the City of Windsor, and residents of the Downtown Mission will return to the Mission.


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