Kenora's emergency shelter is a step closer to moving. The gallery overflowed with support yesterday, as city councillors get ready for a key vote next week.

Before Christmas, they were at the operations for a deputation before the city's planning advisory committee. Yesterday, they were at city hall for the obligatory public meeting.

Speakers in favour of the project included the chief administrative officer for the Kenora District Services Board, the executive director of the NeChee Friendship Centre, as well as the minister at Knox United.

After yesterday's meeting, Reverend Meg Illman-White of Knox United offered her thoughts.

"I think it went beautifully," she said. "I think the community's really, really wanting to do the best thing that they can for the vulnerable in our city."

If the proposal is approved by council next week, supporters are hoping the shelter will be operating at its new location by fall. It's currently housed in the basement of the health unit offices on Matheson Street. For many years, it was located next to the court house on Water Street, before a move in 2016.

Still there are some neighbours to the new location, who have concerns about safety in the neighbourhood, as well as the possibility of reductions in their property value.

"I just think with the liquor store -- and the kind of people who are around that area -- I just don't want it to become an area where people congregate all the time, especially for seniors who walk home late at night," said Joseph Belfiglio, whose mother has lived in the area for close to 50 years.

Partners in the project have offered to meet with neighbours and concerned citizens, in an effort to alleviate their concerns.

The issue is set to go before council next Tuesday at noon.

For more information:

Knox proposal approved

Knox offers insights on shelter

Knox offers permanent shelter

City of Kenora - Notice of application

Permanent home for emergency shelter is new focus, KDSB

Kenora emergency shelter moving into Northwestern Health Unit

Kenora's emergency shelter moves to Knox

Knox United looks to temporarily house emergency shelter

Knox United Church

Kenora Fellowship Centre

NeChee Friendship Centre

Kenora District Services Board - Housing services

Making Kenora Home - Resources and reports




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