The need for the shelter increased over the last month when individuals who were previously "couch-surfing" were forced into absolute homelessness due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The shelter opened at the Exhibition Hall of the municipally-owned John D. Bradley Convention Centre located at 565 Richmond Street in Chatham. The shelter has 55 beds available for any person in need who is able to manage safely in a congregate environment. Any person unable to stay, regardless of the reason, will be assisted with alternative options and support.
The shelter will be operated by municipal staff for the time being. Residents of the centre will be assisted with additional services, including securing housing, employment, healthcare and mental health and addictions support thanks in a large part to community partners.
Intake of new residents will be available 7 days a week, 8AM-10PM, where individuals will be screened for COVID-19 and suitability for the shelter. After-hours support will continue to be offered by the Homeless Response Line. Individuals can reach the line by calling 519.354.6628.
Chatham-Kent Employment and Social Services offers income, employment and homelessness prevention supports and resources to the people of Chatham-Kent. For more information on the department's full range of services, visit www.chatham-kent.ca/ess or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CKEandSS/. Our mission is to provide services to increase wellness and reduce the effects of poverty for the people of Chatham-Kent.