Emergency shelter is moving to Loyola House

 In News

As part of our work to end homelessness in Guelph-Wellington, the County of Wellington is pleased to announce the opening of the Loyola House Supportive Temporary Accommodation Pilot (LHSTAP).

“Six months ago we made the difficult decision to close all three emergency homelessness shelters,” said Warden Kelly Linton. “To minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in congregate shelter settings, all the clients accessing the shelters, along with staff, were relocated to temporary hotel accommodations at the Holiday Inn Express in Guelph. A Supported Isolation Shelter was also established, at Ignatius Jesuit Centre – Loyola House, offering a location for individuals experiencing homelessness to safely self-isolate.”

“Our community’s collaborative response to the COVID-19 pandemic gave us an opportunity to explore a new approach to emergency shelter services,” commented David Anderson, Social Services Committee Chair. “With emergency shelter standards already being re-drafted, this new approach has reinforced our need to shift to a model with a strong housing focus that supports multi-sector service delivery.”

The new model provides individuals:

  • a safe place to stay
  • access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • onsite health care support
  • case management to find permanent housing

It has also improved health outcomes for individuals experiencing homelessness:

  • no positive COVID-19 cases to date
  • 7 individuals entered treatment or medical facilities
  • 31 individuals secured permanent housing
  • overall improvement in health
  • decline in overall emergency services use

In order to continue to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and operate emergency shelter services in a more integrated way we are pleased to announce that over the month of November the County will be working to transition the adults at the Holiday Inn Express to the LHSTAP at Ignatius Jesuit Centre.

“For more than 50 years Loyola House has provided a welcoming space for others,” said Lisa Calzonetti, Director of Operations at Ignatius Jesuit Centre. “We see this initiative with our partners to be one of collaboration and community mindfulness. It is a positive and hopeful direction towards providing a meaningful life to our more vulnerable community members.”

Alongside the Welcome In Drop In Centre, the Guelph Community Health Centre, Ignatius Jesuit Centre, Stonehenge Therapeutic Community and Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo-Wellington, the County will continue to safely support individuals accommodated at the LHSTAP transition into permanent housing solutions.

“We are so happy to be able to continue to support individuals that are homeless in a way that is safe during this pandemic and in partnership with Loyola House,” commented Gail Hoesktra Executive Director at Welcome In Drop In Centre. “It is a wonderful fit organizationally and the location is beautiful! This opportunity will also help us continue to work with our health partners to support people towards better health during their time at Loyola House along with continuing to work towards permanent housing opportunities.”

“We are grateful to have incredible community partners that continue to work together towards ending homelessness in our community,” said Warden Linton.

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