Sudbury – The Off The Street (OTS) Emergency Shelter opens its doors tonight to people in need of a warm, safe place to sleep.
The low-barrier emergency shelter, located at 200 Larch St., will operate in a similar manner as last year, offering vulnerable individuals in the community a temporary cot and light snacks.
CMHA Sudbury/Manitoulin is working with community partners to ensure OTS Emergency Shelter provides the best care possible. One local partner that is making a significant contribution is the Red Cross.
The Red Cross is donating 400 blankets and more than 340 towels, 80 pillow cases, 250 pillows, 1,700 toothbrushes, 240 feminine pads and 2,000 bars of soap for the 2016-17 season. “It’s vital that individuals in need feel welcome and receive as much support as possible,” said Veronica Naaman De Teresi, Red Cross District Branch Manager for Sudbury. “The Off The Street Emergency Shelter is such a crucial part of the community and we’re pleased to pitch in.”
CMHA’s ties to local community agencies is a strength the organization brings to the shelter operation. As lead agency for the Greater Sudbury Health Link, CMHA has close connections to health and social service organizations and can provide individuals with referrals and connections to other local supports.
“We’ve operated housing programs for more than 30 years in the community and we’re hopeful that we can build trusting relationships with shelter users in order to connect them with housing and other health services,” said Marion Quigley, CEO, CMHA Sudbury/Manitoulin.
OTS Emergency Shelter is available every night until April 15. Doors open nightly at 8 p.m. and 30 cots are available. Operational information about the shelter is also available online at OTSemergencyshelter.ca
CMHA Sudbury/Manitoulin is also seeking donations of non-perishable food, coffee, tea, disposable platers and utensils, toiletries and gently-worn winter clothing (e.g. sweaters, coats, hats, gloves) as well as new socks and undergarments.
- Last season, between Nov. 1, 2015 and April 1, 2016, an average of 60 people per night accessed some type of service at the shelter, with an average of 29 people per night using a cot for sleeping.
- A recent Laurentian University study found the city’s homeless population has more than doubled since 2009.
- The study found 1,540 people in Greater Sudbury were either homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless during the period.
- OTS Emergency Shelter is an enhancement to the existing 64 emergency shelter beds that the City of Greater Sudbury funds for men, women and children, and youth.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Marion Quigley CEO
Canadian Mental Health Association, Sudbury/Manitoulin
David St. Georges
Community Services Coordinator
Canadian Red Cross