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Guelph council votes to extend funding for Royal City Mission

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The City of Guelph is extending a pilot project that helps unsheltered people in the community.

Council voted Tuesday night to maintain the current level of funding for Royal City Mission.

"Here we are again, at a crisis point in the year with the weather getting colder and there are still no plans to keep our neighbours out of the elements," said Kevin Coghill, Royal City Mission’s executive director.

The organization offers drop-in services for those experiencing homelessness.

“More people are struggling to afford rent and food,” said Coghill. “There’s no doubt in my mind that drop-in spaces are needed for those who aren’t housed, or who are underhoused.”

Between January and March of next year, the city will provide just under $64,000 to keep the organization running six days a week.

A pricier option that would see extended services and increased staff wages was not endorsed by council.

They wanted to wait to consider additional or longer-term housing options.

“The county is hosting a symposium over the winter, in January, so we would be looking at that symposium to come up with a better idea of how daytime space should be funded,” said Councillor Rodrigo Goller. “This is a stop-gap measure, temporary for this winter and our hope is we will have a better plan for next year.”

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