HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L.
A recent Facebook post in the popular Concerning Happy Valley-Goose Bay group spurred a lot of conversation about the local homeless shelter, the Housing Hub.
The conversation swirled around whether a person would be turned away if they did not have the $40 fee required to stay there.
Scott Hudson, who runs the shelter, said that has never happened and it would not happen.
“From the moment we’ve opened, no one has been turned away for lack of space and certainly not for financial reasons,” he told The Labradorian. “The only people we’ve turned away are those who show up extremely intoxicated and may be a danger to themselves or others.”
Hudson said in those cases they don’t just turn people away either, they contact the RCMP or the hospital to assist the person, depending on what’s needed. He said they have to have that rule in place to protect clients and staff at the shelter.
Regarding the fee, Hudson said a fee is standard at most shelters, to help with operating costs. As a non-profit they use the money to help keep the shelter going, which isn’t cheap. Most of the time the fee is covered by social services, he said, and if it isn’t there are other avenues to help with payment, such as the local Salvation Army.
They can fit 13-14 people at the shelter but have hauled out cots to fit more, Hudson said, and the times where they can’t physically fit more people they’ll help get them alternative accommodations.
“We know if people come here it’s the end of line, they don’t have other options,” he said. “We’re very cognisant of that when making our decisions. If someone shows up here they don’t have any other options, we’re the last step in the road.
“We have never turned anyone away for space. If someone needs shelter, they find shelter.”
He said community partners, such as the Salvation Army and Labrador Friendship Centre, are always there to assist if needed. They help find other accommodations and will cover the cost of a hotel room if that’s what’s needed.
“I can say with all confidence that when it comes to that it won’t be a problem,” he said. “They’re always there to help.”
The Labradorian contacted the original Facebook commenter about the issue but did not receive a reply as of press time.