July 11, 2019 7:07 pm
Updated: July 12, 2019 1:19 pm

Hamilton city council approves Wesley Day Centre alternative in light of expiring lease

A few hundred people rallied outside of Hamilton City Hall on June 25 in support of the Wesley Day Centre.

Ken Mann
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Hamilton politicians are working on a vision that would keep services for the homeless, those battling addictions, and other vulnerable residents together at a single location.

Hamilton City Council, at a meeting on Friday, has given final approval of spending up to $325,000 to help extend a lease on the Wesley Day Centre’s Ferguson Avenue North location until March 31, 2020.

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An emergency and community services meeting on Thursday, councillors initially voted in favour of a funding arrangement with Wesley Urban Ministries for its social and health services hub.

READ MORE: City urged to act to prevent closure of Hamilton’s Wesley Day Centre

An option beyond the current location is a potential agreement keeping the Centre in the downtown core by potentially pairing it up with a proposed overdose prevention site where drug users will be able to take drugs with supervision and get treatment advice.

At this point, Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, said the search continues for a suitable location for the Consumption and Treatment Services site.

READ MORE: Hundreds rally to save ‘hub for the homeless’, demand action on supervised injection site pledge

Dr. Richardson adds that the city is currently looking to either purchase or rent a location, stressing that “we’ve been through many, many, many sites.”

Dean Waterfield, Director of the Wesley Day Centre, says his group is “more than interested in any type of collaborative arrangement”, noting that “the people who need a consumption/treatment service are the same people to come to the Wesley Centre.”

The day centre had been facing an August 23rd closure date, because of leasing and funding-related issues.

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