First Light Announces Closure of Emergency Shelter (Details)

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First Light Announces Closure of Emergency Shelter

An emergency shelter run by First Light has closed after becoming financially unsustainable.

First Light had been running the Shanawdithit Shelter on Water Street, but had to close the facility on Thursday.

Arrangments were made with funders to ensure that clients were moved to other emergency accommodations.

Director of Housing and Social Supports at First Light, Andrew Harvey, says the emergency shelter system in St. John’s has moved away from the per-diem model, under which the Shanawdithit Shelter operated.

He says it also reflects changes in the housing environment in the city which is seeing more and more transitional, affordable and supportive housing options for people, which Harvey says is the real solution to homelessness.

First Light is exploring more permanent housing options for Indigenous people in St. John’s, who they say are “grossly over-represented” in the homeless population.

Twenty-one people have been housed since the summer through the help of the group’s new Indigenous Housing Team. A further announcement is expected on their plans to meeting housing needs in the urban Indigenous population.

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