Hybrid shelter opening date pushed back
The opening date for the Region of Waterloo’s hybrid shelter has been pushed back, with design delays being blamed.
At Wednesday night’s council meeting, the region’s commissioner of community services Peter Sweeney told councillors staff are now targeting mid to late March for opening.
Sweeney admitted the original target date of early February was “a bit too ambitious.”
“Although this is intended to be an interim and temporary solution, it is not a solution without its complexities,” Sweeney said.
The hybrid shelter will be set up on regionally-owned land at 1001 Erbs Road on the border of the City of Waterloo and the Township of Wilmot.
The property is home to the region’s Emergency Services Training and Research Centre campus, which includes paramedic services, the landfill, and a training facility for multiple emergency services.
The region has said the hybrid shelter will be home to up to 50 people, each with their own small cabin, equipped with electricity, heating and air conditioning.
A main cabin complex will provide running water, washrooms, laundry services, space for meals and access to support services like addiction and mental health counselling and help finding permanent housing.
Sweeney said it’s the design of that space, and ensuring it will adequately serve the people who live there, that’s holding things up.
“Ensuring we have places to have private and dignified conversations, whether that’s related to housing, social work, or mental health and addictions, has required a bit of a rethink in terms of what that community space needs to look like,” Sweeney said.
The Region of Waterloo and The Working Centre, who has been contracted to operate the hybrid shelter, will host a public information meeting for neighboring homes and business Thursday night at 7 p.m.
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