The House of Nazareth in Moncton, N.B., has been facing backlash since it was announced that individuals who stay at the shelter would be required to pay $300.00 in monthly rental fees. However, the shelter wants to clarify that won't be the case for most.
"If you're not making a cent, you're not paying a cent," said shelter director, Jean Dubé in a video circulating on Facebook. "If you're on income assistance paying $530.00 a month, you're not going to pay $300.00, does that make sense? But you receive $144.00 for that – which is a shelter fee."
The $144.00 will be taken off social assistance cheques. But some residents, who receive a higher monthly income or who receive pension money, will pay up to $300.00 – all on a case-by-case basis.
Dubé also apologized for using the term "leeching" when referring to those who stay at the shelter.
"I want to be very clear; I apologize for using that word, it's not me, and you're not leeches," said Dubé in the Facebook video. "You're human beings; I love you the way you are."
While some disagree with Dubé's wording, they say they understand his frustrations.
"I don't approve of what was said," says Steve MacDonald. "But at the same time, there are some people that do unfortunately take advantage of the situation – perhaps that might've been a better way of saying it."
Some say a shelter fee is acceptable.
"That should be no problem," says Girvan Chown. "Everybody should pay their way if they can."
However, others are concerned it will prolong their stay.
"It takes away the possibility of them being able to save to move into a new place," says MacDonald.
Meanwhile, Dubé notes he will be holding a press conference on Thursday to make amends and clarify the logistics surrounding the fees.