Thunder Bay Declares a State of Emergency over Homeless and Precariously Housed

Thunder Bay City Hall in Winter
Thunder Bay City Hall in Winter

Thunder Bay – NEWS – The City of Thunder Bay appears to be moving toward more assistance for homeless in the city.

The City of Thunder Bay has requested immediate assistance from the Province for additional funding, support for staffing and social services for individuals experiencing homelessness and precariously housed in Thunder Bay.

“We are requesting assistance from the Province because we need more support, both financially and staffing, to be able to expand the capacity of the isolation centre for those who are COVID-19 positive or are considered high risk contacts and have nowhere else to go,” said Mayor Mauro.

“Declaring a state of emergency is the recommended next step to let the Province know we need additional resources for this concerning and emerging situation. Our community needs to open back up – for our businesses and our residents– for everyone’s safety we need the Province to help now with the specific needs of the vulnerable populations.”

To support the City’s request for assistance, the Mayor is declaring a state of emergency specific to health and social services in relation to COVID-19 as it pertains to isolation supports required for vulnerable populations, such as people who are homeless or use the community’s shelters

The first state of emergency for the City of Thunder Bay was declared on April 23, 2020 in response to the initial threat of COVID-19.

The City’s Municipal Emergency Control Group held another special meeting yesterday with community partners as part of its ongoing management of this situation.

The City made the request for assistance in consultation with the City’s Emergency Response Team, led by the City Manager, with advice from the Thunder Bay District Medical Officer of Health and the Municipal Emergency Control Group. That includes emergency services and other community partners. Fort William First Nation also participated.

“Numerous community partners have been collaborating tirelessly over the last 10 months to address gaps and mitigate risk of COVID among vulnerable individuals in the community,” said Cynthia Olsen, Chair of the Vulnerable Populations COVID-19 Planning Table. “This has been a tremendous effort, and their resources are stretched to their maximum.”

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