New Safe Bed Program Opens in Windsor

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WINDSOR — There's a new facility in downtown Windsor aimed at helping people with homelessness and mental health issues who come across police and the justice system.

The Safe Bed Program is a four bed centre designed for people who shouldn't be incarcerated or hospitalized.

It's a joint partnership between the Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex and Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.

Integrated Director with CMHA Windsor-Essex Rob Moroz says it is not  a shelter, but rather the clients would be referred to the facility through police or the justice system.

"Police have a difficult job and they will be the first to tell you, increasingly mental health is something they are dealing with more and what we really want to do is assist them with that and that is what this is all about," he says.  "These are clients that really can't be incarcerated and they shouldn't be for mental health reasons, but they can't be hospitalized either and they shouldn't be.  These people are often difficult for police to handle because they don't want to leave them out in the cold."

The people in this program would be the homeless or people who don't have anywhere to go.

"People involved in the justice system are really difficult to house," says Moroz.  "It is not frankly always because of them, but because of the reputation they are having sometimes and landlords are very wary especially in the market where rentals are very tight."

He points out people in the program would stay in the facility for a maximum of 30 days.   

The funding is designed for people to stay overnight and during the day, they would take part in programming at the Transitional Stability Centre. 

The location of the facility is not being disclosed for privacy reasons.