There’s growing frustration in Moncton among those trying to help homeless people.
Lisa Ryan of the Greater Moncton Homelessness Steering Committee said she is concerned over the delayed opening of the House of Nazareth’s new homeless shelter, especially as colder weather starts to set in.
“Knowing that we don’t have enough housing to move people to and we don’t have enough shelter beds to place people in until housing comes, at this point right now, it is frustrating,” said Ryan.
The House of Nazareth received nearly half a million dollars from the provincial and federal governments in May to build a new shelter, which was supposed to open in August.
WATCH: (Aug. 20) New Moncton shelter pressured to open amid frustration of delays
House of Nazareth director Jean Dubé told Global News that he would not do any more interviews until the shelter opens, nor would he provide an opening date.
With no official opening day in sight, Ryan says emergency plans for another Out of the Cold shelter may need to be made later this fall.
“We can’t have people sleeping outside — we just can’t,” said Ryan. “I don’t want to have another situation where we walk into winter wondering if we are going to have to do another Out of the Cold shelter.”
But what she does want is for people to realize is there is no quick fix. Housing with support and community engagement are the only routes to ending homelessness in the city.
“That shelter is not going to solve our problem. No shelter will.”
What people need is housing, Ryan said.
City of Moncton spokesperson Isabelle LeBlanc said in an email that a demolition permit was requested from the House of Nazareth and issued on August 27, but “the City has not received any further request for a building permit relating to the new shelter.”
The shelter also has yet to submit formal building plans to the city fire marshal’s office, she said.
LeBlanc says they say they are working on a Plan B on what to do with Moncton’s tent city now that the new shelter has not opened on time.