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Emergency overnight shelter beside Kitchener high school to continue operating until end of September

The Region of Waterloo says additional security measures will be implemented at the site
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An emergency overnight shelter located beside a Kitchener high school will continue to operate when students head back to class. 

The inclusive shelter has been running out of the former Edith MacIntosh Child Care Centre since late June, which is next to Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute.

A letter sent to those in the area from the Region of Waterloo on August 24, and obtained by CityNews, stated the shelter will continue to operate for the next month. 

"Over the summer, we have had the opportunity to engage in thoughtful conversations with neighbours, individuals with lived experience and our community partners," read the letter. "While there is overwhelming support and acknowledgement of the critical need for these services in the community, the Edith MacIntosh site has not been without its challenges."

The letter added that the Region of Waterloo will discontinue the location after September 28. 

Kelly-Anne Salerno, the region's assistant director of housing operations, issued a statement to CityNews and confirmed the details.

"This afternoon, we began notifying the local school communities and neighbourhood that we will be discontinuing the use of the Edith MacIntosh site as an emergency shelter by the end of September. The last night of operation at the site will be September 28, 2022."

Salerno said until then, additional measures will be implemented at the site 'to support the continued safety of students and staff'; the measures will include enhanced security, increased needle sweeps of the area, and modifications to shelter operations. 

"With regional council's recent approval of our Interim Housing Solutions strategy, we have expanded our search and resourcing capabilities as we work to find a new emergency shelter location(s) and service providers," wrote Salerno. "We will remain in close contact with the Waterloo Region District School Board, The Working Centre and the City of Kitchener and together, we will continue to work through issues collaboratively as they arise. "

The overnight site is being run by The Working Centre and provides shelter services seven days a week, from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. 

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