Operations set to resume at Transition House Shelter - Temporary shelter at CCI to close July 17

Shelter services for individuals experiencing homelessness will resume at Transition House’s Chapel Street, Cobourg location on Friday, July 17. At that time, operations will conclude at the temporary emergency homelessness shelter at Cobourg Collegiate Institute (CCI), established in the early days of COVID-19.

“As the virus emerged in Ontario, we had to act swiftly to adjust our practices to ensure the ongoing provision of safe and effective shelter services for those experiencing homelessness in Northumberland,” states Transition House Executive Director Anne Newman. “Through support from MPP Piccini, and collaboration and rapid action with our community partners, we were able to quickly put a solution in place to meet existing needs while addressing enhanced health and safety protocols. Safety continues to be our primary consideration. In anticipation of schools reopening, we have been working with Public Health officials to ensure measures are in place for the resumption of operations at our Chapel Street location in a way that keeps our clients and staff safe during COVID-19. Based on the progress of this work, we will be concluding our operations at CCI and reopening Transition House on Friday, July 17.”

On March 20, 2020, Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini announced an agreement between Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB), Northumberland County and Transition House for the temporary relocation of emergency homelessness shelter services to CCI. This model enabled Transition House – the county’s only emergency homelessness shelter – to implement the necessary physical distancing measures and sanitation practices to operate safely during the pandemic, while maintaining full capacity in providing shelter services for those experiencing homelessness in our community.

Now, as schools ramp up preparations for students’ return in September, Transition House staff are preparing to shift operations back to the Chapel Street location. The health and safety of clients and staff is Transition House’s number one priority. Based on direction from Public Health, measures have been implemented to enhance the safety of operations during the pandemic, including updates to washroom facilities, furniture and other infrastructure, protocols for health screening for those entering the facility, enhanced sanitation practices, physical distancing requirements within the facility, and visitors will not be permitted.

In order to meet requirements for physical distancing during COVID-19, Transition House will be operating at reduced capacity, accommodating a maximum of 10 clients at any given time. Should demand exceed what can be accommodated at the shelter, a hotel partnership has been secured to address this additional need, during this time.

“The establishment of the temporary emergency shelter at CCI was yet another example of this community coming together to tackle the challenges created by this unprecedented global crisis,” states County Director of Community & Social Services Lisa Horne. “We thank the KPR District School Board for stepping forward and permitting the use of CCI as a temporary location for shelter services during the early days of the pandemic. We also wish to recognize MPP Piccini for bringing the parties together to make this arrangement possible, and our homelessness system partners for their support in ensuring ongoing service provision. Finally, sincere thanks to the staff of Transition House for their resilience and agility during this truly challenging period. Their commitment to serving those in need in our community has been unwavering, and their efforts have contributed to Northumberland’s positive efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve.”