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Public engagement opportunities being planned on emergency shelter at Kitchener child care centre

The inclusive emergency shelter opened at Edith MacIntosh Child Care Centre on June 24
Stock photo

It's been over a month since an emergency shelter began operating out of the Edith MacIntosh Child Care Centre in Kitchener. 

The site can provide overnight shelter for up to 55 people and first opened its doors on June 24. It's located at 104 Stirling Avenue South, beside Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute, and is run by The Working Centre. 

When the emergency shelter was first announced by the Region of Waterloo, it was promoted as an inclusive setting that can support all gender identities, couples, and pets. 

It came as two other temporary emergency shelters closed their doors near the end of June and a large encampment continues to stand nearby at 100 Victoria Street. 

Concerns were recently raised by a caller to CityNews 570 about a lack of public consultation on the shelter. 

The Region of Waterloo has confirmed that letters of notice were distributed to those in the neighbourhood on June 21, a few days before the facility opened. 

The region said it continues to consult partners like Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute and the Waterloo Region District School Board, and they hold regular meetings to discuss any issues or challenges. 

A statement added, "It is a Regionally-owned property that contributes to ensuring an adequate number of stable emergency shelter spaces to meet the need at any time. Edith MacIntosh is in close proximity to many services and supports that are available for those experiencing homelessness."

Engagement opportunities and additional public communication are also currently being planned.

As for the ongoing meetings, the region confirmed they are closed to the public and being chaired by the Region of Waterloo with community partners. 

"Regular meetings with community partners are ongoing where operations and issues are discussed. No decisions regarding moving the shelter have been made at this time," read an e-mail statement to CityNews 570. 

When it comes to the future of the emergency site, the region said its working with partners to closely monitor the shelter's use and the need in the community as the fall approaches. 

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