The District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB) has announced they will be continuing the services of low barrier emergency homeless shelter at a new location.

Currently operated by the Nipissing Mental Health and Housing Support Services out of the Pete Palangio Arena, the new facility will open at 590 Chippewa Street, the old OPP building which will be a future home of transitional housing. Officials say this new plan features the use of a portable building to accommodate vulnerable individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will run 12 hours a day.

Officials say it could take up to three weeks to prepare the Chippewa site. An alternate site or a short extension of the current site will be needed up to July 31 in order to prepare the new location. All provincial and federal funds which were identified for the current shelter will be exhausted by July 7. DNSSAB also agreed to a budget of up to $100,000 monthly in available one-time operating funding to December 31 to accommodate the need.

“There is no change in the need for an emergency COVID responsive shelter given the continuing pandemic,” says DNSSAB Chair Mark King. “There also remains a clear need for a permanent low barrier shelter facility to house the homeless.”