Charlottetown Curling Club could be converted to outreach centre if purchased by P.E.I. government
The provincial government has secured a lease for the site of the Charlottetown Curling Club, with plans to potentially purchase the building in the future.
On Friday, Social Development and Housing Minister Brad Trivers confirmed the lease of the curling club. He said the province is considering locating services there that would assist low-income individuals, perhaps including a relocation of the Smith Lodge outreach centre. The province’s lease of the property begins May 3.
The Charlottetown Curling Club announced the building, which has been a curling facility since the early 1900s, would be going up for sale in March.
"There's all kinds of potential opportunities there from a housing perspective and a social development perspective," Trivers said in a media interview at the legislature.
"Really, we're at the beginning stages of plans for that location."
Trivers said the daytime community outreach centre, which provides services for individuals experiencing homeless and others that live independently, has been located temporarily at Smith Lodge on nearby Weymouth Street. The facility currently has a capacity for nine beds of transitional housing.
Trivers said the province has been looking for a more permanent home for the outreach centre.
“[We have] looked at many, many locations,” Trivers said.
“We really wanted to keep it in Charlottetown because that's where the majority of the clientele are, in downtown."
The outreach centre is operated by the Salvation Army. Last November, several former Salvation Army staff and clients publicly raised concerns about mistreatment and apparent discrimination of vulnerable clients using both the outreach centre and the nearby Bedford-MacDonald shelter.
Trivers said the results of an internal investigation completed by the Salvation Army will be tabled in the legislature on Tuesday.
Trivers added the province has also considered establishing publicly-owned affordable housing at the site of the Charlottetown Curling Club. No concrete decisions have been made, he said.
“We're taking it one step at a time. So the first step is to make sure we actually have the property. The next step is to work with the various stakeholders involved,” Trivers said.
But Liberal MLA Gord McNeilly said no consultation has been done with the surrounding community. He pointed out that two schools – Birchwood and Prince Street – are located in the area.