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2014-01-21 at 16:04

Out of the cold

By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
Dance BasicsDance Basics For Pre-Schooler; Mom & Tot Dance Classes for ages 2-6 years. Next sessions starts November 7th.Dance Basics

It has only taken a month for Shelter House’s cold weather project to show its effectiveness.

The cold weather pilot project designed to get homeless and intoxicated people out of the elements has been busier than imagined, according to Shelter House executive director Patty Hajdu.

“We find the demand exceeds our expectations,” Hajdu said following a presentation at Tuesday’s police service board meeting.

“At the beginning there might have been a few periods during the day where they didn’t have calls but now they find their phone is ringing constantly.”

The program has a two-person team available for 12 hours to respond to non-violent calls that do not warrant police or emergency response intervention and then transport clients to a shelter.

As of Jan. 14, the outreach team had received 226 calls for service and provided 182 instances of transportation since beginning on Dec. 27. They are busiest between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.

All of these transportation services help alleviate pressures from an over-worked police and emergency response system.

Thunder Bay Police Service chief J.P. Levesque told the board the program is tangibly reducing public intoxication incidents for police.

Hajdu expects the final numbers from the pilot project, which is scheduled to end in April, will prove the value it has to aid outreach and addiction treatments.

“I think people are going to be amazed when they see the numbers we’re able to divert from police transportation, from EMS transportation and just the support we provide to all the other providers in the community,” Hajdu said.

One of the pillars of the project was an increased collaboration between Shelter House and the Salvation Army, where sober men over 18 at the Shelter House are transported to the Salvation Army to maximize available beds.

The Shelter House is also providing a short-term sobering up service.

The results of the program are to be presented to city council in June but Hajdu already believes the numbers will show that it should run year-round. However, she said there has to be some additional money to do that.

Members of the board asked Hajdu about seeking support by way of health dollars but said Shelter House and the outreach program is not formally considered a health care provider.

She added that the thought of continuing the program without increased funding “terrified” her as an executive director.

 

 

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Comments

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gremlin says:
"She said there has to be some additional money to do that". WOW!!! I didn't see that coming.
1/21/2014 4:20:59 PM
young&concerned says:
Next time me and my friends are stuck downtown PA I will have to give Patty and her two person team call, to get a ride to the shelter when no cabs are available or coming. I will be that much closer to home. Hell we should all start doing this...we are paying for it!
1/21/2014 5:55:18 PM
Tbay99 says:
Funding funding funding! Always more funding! Welfare Bay just keeps getting worse.
1/21/2014 6:19:47 PM
minstrel says:
it is far cheaper to pay them to do it than to continue to pay the police to do the same thing.
1/21/2014 8:36:06 PM
progress now says:
When services such as these are expanded, demand increases to overwhelm them. You can never catch-up.

Hajdu wants more funding ... who doesn't?

Everybody needs budgets and everybody needs to live within them - otherwise the whole house of cards collapses.

The strong must protect the weak, but in a real world context.

Resources are not inexhaustible - even for Ms. Hajdu.
1/21/2014 8:14:57 PM
ThunderBayFullOfCrime says:
I think this is a good thing, freeing up police and EMS to actually do their jobs. If this helps get the alcoholics and drug addicts some help, I'm for it.

I'm growing tired of these "waiting for police stories" because they were tied up with some intoxicated individuals. It is also keeping the drunks from taking beds from sick people at the hospital.
1/21/2014 8:47:54 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Don't worry Patti , the Event Center basement will be ready in a couple of years .
1/21/2014 9:38:08 PM
deanc12 says:
Wow. How can we help, I hate knowing people are living like this. I am not rich but I am willing to help. Just let me now how people can help
1/21/2014 10:35:12 PM
deanc12 says:
just let me know now how I can help
1/21/2014 11:30:10 PM
nvjgu says:
If you support them they will come.
1/22/2014 4:58:41 AM
NewAgeOutlaw says:
Why are comments that a 100% accurate are being taken down constantly?? Is this Russia or Canada??
1/23/2014 8:57:51 AM
Leith Dunick says:
Because they're being made by a poster who has been banned for having multiple accounts (like 30 different user names), picking fights and insulting other posters and trying to post racist material.

And it doesn't take us long to figure out who you are...

1/23/2014 4:31:45 PM
moi says:
Good one Leith!
I think we've all noticed from time to time on this site, the... "curse of the reincarnated poster" problem.
You're right,it really doesn't take long to figure out when someone's writing/complaining style gives them away.
LOL...2 posters from the past (who used to bombard this site on a daily basis) come to mind.And most of us were thankful when they were banned, because they couldn't conduct themselves in a reasonable manner,or be open to other's opinions.And let's not forget the ever popular "I agree with myself 465 times over, because I'm right and you're wrong".
1/23/2014 6:14:56 PM
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