Province “reflecting” on pushback to Pallet Shelter community in Lower Sackville

The department of Community Services is “reflecting” after hearing significant pushback to a plan to house people experiencing homelessness in temporary shelters in Lower Sackville.

And it’s not saying whether those shelters will be available to house people being asked to leave tenting locations.

The 19 Pallet Shelters being constructed outside Beacon House in Lower Sackville were expected to be ready as an option for people being evicted from five Halifax-area encampments on Monday.

CityNews reached out to the province to ask if those shelters, which had been installed, would be ready to house people by Feb. 26.

“We received some good feedback at last week’s community meeting in Lower Sackville. We continue to work closely with our partners and service provider, reflecting on all we have heard from residents in the community,” read a statement from Community Services spokesperson Christina Deveau. “As we consider next steps, we will look to balance the need to move quickly to respond to the housing crisis with community concerns and communication.”

That meeting, hosted by Beacon House to hear from residents, saw more than 170 people show up to voice concerns about the proximity of the shelter to a junior high school and community recreation facility. Others took issue with a lack of community consultation before the shelters and a location were announced.

The province has spent $7.5 million on 200 of the Pallet Shelters, and the Beacon House community was set to be the first in the province.

Government has also heard push-back to plans to build a shelter community in Whitney Pier in Cape Breton.

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