No Room At The Inn

The Good Shepherds Lodge on Confederation St.

The Good Shepherd’s Lodge has had to turn people away recently.

The Confederation St. facility, which has a maximum capacity of 25, provides emergency shelter to those experiencing a period of homelessness.

Executive Director Myles Vanni says there has been a definite increase in the number of homeless in the community and those seeking shelter.

He says inadequate funding from the different levels of government certainly plays a factor in the number of spaces available for the homeless, although there’s been an increasing number of individuals who require other resources as well.

“What we’re really, really seeing in our increase in the number of people is challenges with mental health and addiction,” says Vanni. “Folks that are facing those two demons and those supports just aren’t there for them, and we’re seeing more people with addictions and mental health issues.”

According to a recent report, over the last five years the number of individuals seeking shelter has risen across Ontario, however the number of shelters since 2011 has fallen to 310 from 340. That’s about 1,000 less available beds.

Statistics Canada says during the 2016 census, 8,780 people in Ontario declared a shelter as their primary residence, up 10% from 2011.