Waterloo Region has announced that its first outdoor shelter will open on the border of the city of Waterloo and Wilmot in February.
It says a portion of a property the region owns at 1001 Erb’s Rd. will be home to as many as 50 people who are currently homeless.
The location is also home to the Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Centre (WRESTRC) campus, which includes paramedic services, waste management, water services and a training facility for municipal emergency services.
The region says there will be 50 individual cabins at the site, which will have electricity, heating and cooling. There will also be a main site offering other amenities including running water, common space, washrooms and laundry services.
The Working Centre is in charge of security and support services such as mental health and addictions supports. There will also be a focus on finding permanent housing options for those living on site.
The region notes that there are more than 1,000 homeless people in the area, including 450 who are experiencing chronic homelessness.