For Immediate Release
February 15, 2001

Keith Ward
Commissioner, Housing and Property
Region of Peel
905-453-1300, Ext. 2518


(Brampton)-The Region of Peel today opened a newly-constructed homeless shelter in east Brampton that will house 84 men and women who need shelter and food on a temporary basis.

"There are people in all parts of this Region-Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon-who live on the streets and fend for themselves each day," said Regional Chair Emil Kolb. "With our homeless shelter on Wilkinson Road in Brampton, and the Mavis Road shelter in Mississauga, we are offering not only a roof but a complete program to help these people become self-supporting."

The shelter is located on land adjacent to a Regional Public Works yard, and like the Mavis shelter, will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Like its counterpart on Mavis Road, the Wilkinson shelter will be run by the Salvation Army and operated and maintained by the Region of Peel. Public Works staff built the water and sewer systems that support the Wilkinson shelter.

"This was truly a team effort, with four departments at the Region working together to make this shelter happen, and to assist our homeless population," said Keith Ward, Commissioner of Housing and Property with the Region of Peel. "No detail has been overlooked, including fresh air exchange within the Wilkinson shelter and assurances that the building adheres to Peel Health's strict standards for food handling and preparation."

The modular building used for the Wilkinson Road shelter cost $1.3 million to construct. The Region received a subsidy of $500,000 from the federal government's Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program.

The shelter is a 10,800 square-foot building that was constructed off-site in sections and then trucked in for assembly. From start to finish, the construction took less than eight weeks.

"This was an aggressive construction project, and one that helps meet our need to remain flexible with the shelter's location," Ward said.

In January 2000, the Region began a year-long pilot program to reach out to homeless people in the community, taking a van into the community where homeless people are, bringing such items as hot drinks, warm clothes or bus tickets. That program is soon to be expanded as part of an overall program to assist the homeless in re-integrating into society.

"We are dedicated to assisting those who have the temporary misfortune of not having warm, safe shelter-however this has come to be in their lives," said David Szwarc, Interim Commissioner of Social Services with the Region of Peel. "The Wilkinson shelter is part of continuum of services designed to encourage self-initiative so that homeless people can regain a stable life as contributing citizens."

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Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail

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