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More delays for 'pop-up' shelter

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The Fort Frances Homeless Committee, comprised of front-line service providers of non-profit agencies spanning social services, education, legal, and health-care sectors, has been working diligently over the past 12 months in efforts to get an “Out of the Cold” pop-up shelter opened in Fort Frances.

Unfortunately, this shelter is experiencing additional delays, causing the anticipated start-date to be pushed back further into the winter.

The committee has been working extremely hard to get the shelter opened up in time for winter but has seen a number of delays varying from policy development, security, building concerns, staffing, and training.

“We are disappointed, of course, because we wanted to have this shelter open earlier,” said committee co-chair Jamie Petrin.

“But we are moving in uncharted territory here in Fort Frances and want to make sure we are doing things right,” she stressed.

“When it comes to accountability and safety, there are no short-cuts.”

The committee is optimistic it still will be able to open its doors shortly but now is looking at a start-date of February at this time.

“In talking to other shelters operating similar programs, we have heard that taking up to a few years is not uncommon in opening a shelter,” Petrin noted.

“So I am still pleased at what we have been able to accomplish and very proud of the committee for all they have put into it so far,” she added.

The Homeless Committee may look at utilizing a different space in order to get a shelter operational quickly.

More details will follow in the coming weeks but those wanting to be kept up to date are encouraged to visit the “Out of the Cold” Facebook page.

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