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Lack of Shelter Standards Impacting Most Vulnerable


For Immediate Release

May 1, 2024


NL NDP Leader, Jim Dinn (MHA for St. John’s Centre) is calling out the lack of action by Ministers of Housing and CSSD on implementing shelter standards after an ATIPP report revealed that they are still not in place and will not be completed until June of this year.

 

In April 2022, Dinn asked the then Minister of CSSD, also responsible for Housing, what shelter standards were in place to ensure that people would have a safe place to stay. At the time the Minister assured him that there were standards in place and the Department was working on expanding them. Yet, this ATIPP request says otherwise.

 

“What we see is 46 pages, all redacted with a large red “x”,” said Dinn. “What does that say about the importance of creating and ensuring safe shelters for people facing homelessness in our province?”

 

“There are many serious reasons why people feel safer in a tent than they do in a shelter. For years we have been hearing how people feel unsafe, whether it be because they are a woman who has experienced sexual assault afraid of a co-ed shelter with no locks on the door, or a recovering addict who needs a high-barrier shelter to help them stay in recovery,” said Dinn. “You would think that this government would listen to these stories and bring in well informed shelter standards. But they haven’t.”

 

“When asked, the current Minister for CSSD could not give any information on where to find the current shelter standards, or about the process they are undertaking now to write them. It is clear to me that this government never had shelter standards for those who need to avail of the service.”

 

Dinn points to just a few months ago when he visited a privately run shelter that government uses to place vulnerable people, where he found rat feces, a bucket of needles under a sink, and more. He questions if this is an example of “safe” options that this government is offering those living in Tent City.

 

“We hear government blaming homeless people living at Tent City for not taking the options that are given to them, but if these are the conditions that they are facing as a “safe” option, do you blame them?” Dinn questioned.

 

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For further information, contact Stephanie Curran, Media Relations Manager, NDP Caucus at 330-0328 (o), or stephaniecurran@gov.nl.ca  


NR 01052024 Lack of Shelter Standards Impacting Most Vulnerable
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