Brantford shelter says it has no choice but to close
Published Saturday, October 6, 2018 8:21PM EDT
The “Welcome In” shelter in Brantford will be saying its final farewell on December 15.
A member on the Board of Directors says rising security costs are one of the main reasons for the closure.
In April the city rejected the shelter’s request for $110,000.
Mayor Chris Friel says they were willing to work with the shelter to find an alternative solution but “Welcome In” wasn’t interested in the proposal.
He was shocked by the announcement.
“We didn’t close it," he says. "We didn’t pull their funding.”
Approximately 400 people use the shelter’s mental health and addiction services every year.
The closure means 38 beds will be lost and 16 full and part-time staff members will be out of a job.
“They’ve made a big difference in my life,” says volunteer John Fetterly. “Not happy about it, but we have no choice.”
The decision also isn’t sitting well with those that use the shelter’s services.
“I’m angry and upset,” says Bryan Vokey. “These programs, they help me.”
Vokey has been visiting the shelter every week since April.
Staff members have been scrambling to connect their clients to other organizations like Rosewood House, which currently operates as a treatment facility.
“It’s unfortunate that they left us in the lurch in one regard,” says Friel. “But we have excellent staff members who were able to get to the other organizations quickly and speed the process up a year.”
The city says the Salvation Army will also be increasing its beds at the Booth Centre from 8 to 20.