Transition House officials respond to impact of Cobourg’s emergency shelter bylaw

Transition House

Transition House Executive Director Ike Nwibe and Board Chair Meaghan MacDonald

The full interview:

Plans for 310 Division Street continue to move forward. Senior staff at Northumberland County and Cobourg are hammering away at a deal to operate an emergency shelter. Meanwhile, the town’s bylaws are now in place to regulate operations at local shelters, including Transition House and Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre.

County Warden Brian Ostrander and Cobourg Mayor Lucas Cleveland appeared on last week’s show to discuss the situation. Meanwhile, the provincial government provided $2.5 million to renovate the former senior’s residence, with the caveat that the work must begin within the next four months.

The entire show is dedicated to hearing a response from Transition House. Executive Director Ike Nwibe and the board’s chair, Meaghan MacDonald, have lots to say.

While the conversation focuses on the Emergency Shelter bylaw, its impact extends far beyond the controversy over 310 Division Street. As you listen, you will hear the bylaw’s impact on the current operation on Chapel Street, not just 310 Division Street. You will also hear their perspective on other aspects of the bylaw and how it affects the board, the volunteers, and the staff.

The former senior’s residence at 310 Division Street creates many responses. The public reaction goes from strong supporters to vehement opponents. The issues are complex. While Transition House is a low-barrier emergency shelter, it aims to help people move from homelessness to stable housing. But it is not that simple.

The interview explores this complexity. This includes dealing with addictions, mental health, employment, and affordable housing, among many other factors.

The encampment in the east end of Cobourg presents an even more significant challenge. You will hear the response to whether or not the new shelter and its services are a solution to the encampment and its associated issues. Then, you decide based on this extensive interview.

Originally aired: April 12, 2024.


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