More steps being taken to address homeless issue in Truro

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UPDATED 3:30 P.M. 

TRURO – Another temporary measure and ongoing efforts to offer a permanent homeless shelter in Truro are taking shape.

Bible Hill's Audrey Bailey is helping address the homeless issue in Truro. She has rented an apartment in Truro to help temporarily house homeless people. Bailey confirmed her plans during a public Out of the Cold meeting in Truro on Friday morning. Monique Chiasson - Truro Daily News

About 25 people gathered for an Out of the Cold meeting on Friday morning in Truro. During the public meeting, Bible Hill resident Audrey Bailey shared she has rented a small apartment on Prince Street to help “fill in the gap” for homeless people after temporary shelter hours.

“It can be open Saturday morning,” Bailey said during the meeting, adding as of Friday morning there weren’t many furnishings but the room would provide warmth and safety.

The rental of the apartment is not part of the Out of the Cold initiative.

“I’m very aware of the need. I know the hardship (homeless people) go through. I was brought up to help and not to judge,” Bailey told the Truro Daily News. “I know the need is there (and) not all of the homeless come to the (Out of the Cold) shelter.”

Bailey said accommodations can be made available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Out of the Cold operates from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at First United Church.

Bailey added as long as funding or donations are available, she’d like to continue offering the space in the daytime after the shelter closes at the end of March.

Out of the Cold is also stepping up its efforts to obtain a permanent shelter. The goal is to run a shelter seven days a week, day and night, that would also have access to community organizations, and job and skill-building opportunities.

Truro’s Grant Langford, a volunteer with the temporary shelter, said it’s disheartening to send shelter clients out into the cold in the mornings.

“I hate when it’s –20 below in January and we have to push them out the door. It’s still dark and cold. I think we have to go way beyond where we are now,” Langford said.

Some locations suggested at the meeting included the top floor of the Truro Farmers’ Market, the current library that will soon be vacated or Colchester Community Workshops’ new expansion project.

“We do have a number of vacant buildings downtown,” said Truro Mayor Bill Mills, who added the top floor of the Normal College could be a possibility once the new library gets settled in that building.

“You need to have a plan. If you have a proposed budget and partnerships, council would be obligated to look at it,” Mills said.

Truro Coun. Danny Joseph offered another way to look at the situation.

“We need partnerships (formed). There are inherent social concerns with the homeless. I believe it’s an ill conceived notion to say we need a building” first, Joseph said.

Other ideas discussed at the meeting included asking for advice from other organizations that have had success providing for the homeless, such as Habitat For Humanity.

A committee to continue seeking a permanent solution is being formed and funding grants through the federal government will be sought. For information on the apartment accommodations through Bailey, call 893-7636.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

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About 25 people gathered for an Out of the Cold meeting on Friday morning in Truro. During the public meeting, Bible Hill resident Audrey Bailey shared that she has rented a small apartment on Prince Street to help “fill in the gap” for homeless people after temporary shelter hours.

“It can be open Saturday morning,” Bailey said during the meeting, adding as of Friday morning there weren’t many furnishings but the room would provide warmth and safety.

Bailey reiterated the rental of the apartment is something she is contributing to help address the issue of homelessness and it’s not part of the Out of the Cold initiative.

“I’m very aware of the need. I know the hardship (homeless people) go through. I was brought up to help and not to judge,” Bailey told the Truro Daily News. “I know the need is there (and) not all of the homeless come to the (Out of the Cold) shelter.”

 

Story developing …

Organizations: Truro Daily News

Geographic location: Truro, Prince Street

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  • Greg Maynard
    January 11, 2014 - 11:05

    I totally agree with with Danny in the fact that it can provide through partnerships. A notion mostly overlooked : the community is represented through gov't therefore the gov't is merely the people of our community which includes the business community. The Colchester Workshop works through such avenues and not solely a branch of gov't. Checks and balances have to put in place with this issue where all are involved hence provides to provide necessities and within reason. I believe getting solely gov't into this issue will see things wildly get out of control.