Emergency shelter opening to help support homeless

Windsor International Aquatic & Training Centre, January 23, 2014. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

The City of Windsor is opening an emergency shelter to help support the homeless community as the Downtown Mission continues to struggle with a COVID-19 outbreak.

An outbreak was declared at the shelter on February 11. Since then, 70 staff and guests have tested positive for the virus at the shelter.

A new order issued by the Windsor Essex County Health Unit to the Downtown Mission orders the continued closure of the Victoria Avenue location and the 875 Ouellette Avenue location.

The Downtown Mission can continue to operate the temporary location at the former library site for current guests only.

For residents who are seeking shelter who were not previous guests of the Mission, the City of Windsor is opening an emergency shelter at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre in downtown Windsor.

“We must come together as a community to support those who need help the most during this public health crisis. In 2020, the City of Windsor provided the Downtown Mission with approximately 1 million dollars in emergency funding to support their operations during the ongoing pandemic. And when the Health Unit was forced to shut their facility, the City of Windsor mobilized resources quickly to open this temporary emergency shelter at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre. We all need to do our part,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.

The emergency shelter will open with support from the Canadian Red Cross as well as a number of other local partner agencies.

The facility will remain open until the health unit determines it is safe for the Downtown Mission to reopen its other facilities.

The site should be operational by Wednesday February 24, 2021.