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New emergency shelter opens in downtown Kitchener

The Region of Waterloo's administration building in Kitchener. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

A new temporary overflow shelter opened in downtown Kitchener on Thursday.

The space, which will be operated by the YWCA Kitchener-Waterloo, is located on Frederick Street and will house up to 45 adults.

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“We need to be prepared for potentially high numbers of people seeking shelter again during the colder months of the year,” Waterloo region housing services director Deb Schlichter said. “And we know that last year’s approach worked well to help ease the pressure on shelters.”

It is estimated that the shelter will cost $347,000, a price tag which Schlichter says is less than other options.

“We will ensure that everyone who wants a warm place to sleep will have one,” Schlichter said. “This is also a more cost-effective alternative to motel overflow.”

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Overall, the region will have 245 emergency shelter spaces available with 195 of those primarily serving adults.

Housing services says it is continuing to look for ways to ease the pressure on shelters by looking for places where people can find permanent homes.

The new shelter will be open until April.

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