Fredericton partners with The Salvation Army for new emergency shelter

Fredericton is partnering with The Salvation Army to provide an emergency shelter and reception centre during major events.

The 10-year agreement, approved at Monday night's regular council meeting, will see the city spend about $230,000 to buy and install a generator at the community church on St. Mary's Street.

The money, according to Deputy Mayor Kate Rogers, is coming from savings achieved during the 2016 budget year.

Wayne Tallon, Fredericton's EMO director, said the city did not have a facility where they could house people overnight.

"The building at 531 St. Mary's Street has more than adequate amenities to satisfy the city's needs as an emergency shelter," he said. "The sanctuary, gymnasium, food bank, meeting rooms, counselling offices and full commercial kitchen facility can certainly serve any immediate or future needs."

Tallon said the facility can sleep 80 people overnight, and feed about 250 to 350 people three times a day.

"Additionally, they have established a working relationship with the Red Cross, and can reach out to other Salvation Army jurisdictions, such as Moncton and Saint John, if more manpower and assistance is needed in Fredericton," said Tallon

The city has used Willie O'Ree Place and the Grant-Harvey Centre as charging and warming/cooling centres in the past, but staff said a sustainability analysis found the buildings are not suited to serve as emergency shelters.

It was during that analysis that staff said they were approached by The Salvation Army to consider their facility as an emergency shelter and temporary reception centre.

The city still needs to tender the purchase and installation of the generator, which is expected to be in place by this summer.