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Vehicle breakdown stalls Shelter House SOS program

Program is halted pending a decision on repairs
The Street Outreach Services van was taken off the road on Friday because of problems with the transmission. (TBT News).

THUNDER BAY - Officials at Shelter House Thunder Bay are waiting to hear what it will cost to get the vehicle they use for their Street Outreach Services program rolling again.

The van had to be taken off the road Friday evening after it developed transmission trouble. It had just finished transporting some clients to the hospital.

SOS workers use the vehicle to provide aid and transportation to the homeless and to intoxicated and other high-risk members of the community.

They are usually on the street daily from 2 PM to 2 AM, but can't do their job without a vehicle.

Acting Shelter House executive-director Michelle Jordan said Tuesday that there is no backup, and that she wasn't sure yet when or if the van might be repaired.

"This is not an isolated incident...The van we have is older. We've been looking at getting a new one and are in the process of looking at grants," Jordan said.

For now, there is a message on the SOS phone line advising callers to dial 911 if there is an emergency.

"If somebody's passed out in a snowbank, they should call 911 in any case. If someone's intoxicated or not dressed for the cold weather, people must call 911 for help."

The SOS program was suspended in April, 2017 with the expectation it would resume in late fall, but a funding boost from the annual Mayor's Mulligan golf tournament helped Shelter House reinstate the service in August.



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