NB gov’t commits to reopening Safe Harbour youth homeless centre in Saint John
The New Brunswick government says the Safe Harbour youth homeless shelter in Saint John will be reopened.
That word comes from families and children minister Stephen Horsman more than nine months after the facility was forced to close.
“Absolutely it’s going to reopen, we’re going to ensure that,” Horsman said.
Safe Harbour, which offered young people a safe haven, closed its doors Jan. 29 after a lien was placed on the property. A $440,000 loan guarantee was unable to be obtained at the time.
It appears all the pieces are coming together to reopen. While not revealing all the details, Horsman said the province will help out by dealing with operational costs.
“We want to make sure it stays open and before, in the past, it wasn’t viable, it wasn’t sustainable,” Horsman said. “We are going to work with Partners for Youth and some people, some stakeholders in that community to make sure it does stay open this time and for the long run.”
“Partners for Youth” is a Fredericton-based organization focused on helping youth facing various challenges.
Safe Harbour was an important part of the community during the short time it was open. The Teen Youth Resource Centre says it had a direct impact on troubled kids.
“We saw how getting a kid a safe place to stay translated into success at school, success with some of the mental health and addiction issues they were facing, success with some of their social relationships,” TYC executive director June Breau-Nason said.
Breau-Nason said the need for such a facility has not gone away and won’t for some time to come.
“Because there’s so many things we need to address with some of the issues that youth are facing today and until everyone I guess understands that you can’t move forward in life until you have a safe place to stay then we’re not going to make changes,” she said.
There’s no word on exactly when Safe Harbour will reopen.
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