Housing project with clinic for homeless people with complex needs demolished in Moncton – New Brunswick
Dale Hicks, president of the Moncton-based nonprofit organization Rising Tide Housing, said plans for a 20-unit apartment building and a first-floor clinic have been officially scrapped.
“The clinic is so important because the clinic is for people with high acuity,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.
“The (homeless) person most people see pushing handcarts on the street. They are the ones who basically need 24/7 supervision and care and we cannot offer that at Rising Tide.
Salvus Clinic, an organization that provides medical care to the homeless and otherwise vulnerable people in the Moncton area, pulled out of the project in February, saying they lacked the capacity to expand their programming.
While Rising Tide provides case management services to residents with less complex needs, they cannot provide clinical services with a partner.
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Hicks said he contacted the county in February to try and find a solution to keep the project alive.
“We had set a deadline of March 20 because we had to make some decisions with our funding that were time sensitive,” Hicks said.
On Monday, Rising Tide made the final decision to cancel the project.
“March 20 is over and I think the project is dead,” he said.
Hicks said the 10 percent of people evicted from Rising Tide properties fall into the category of people who would benefit from the clinical housing project he has in mind.
“If it were up to me, I would open four clinics in Moncton tomorrow morning. I will have four clinics in Moncton to deal with very astute individuals,” he said.
The organization received more than $15 million in funding from the federal, state and municipal governments to build 160 housing units by March 2024.
“We have a lot of work to do over the next 12-14 months and we don’t want to waste any more time wondering if the clinic will be part of that,” he added.
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A spokesman for the provincial government told Global News on Wednesday that “talks are underway” about the combination of housing and clinic.
“Partners like Rising Tide play an important role in making homes more sustainable and the department will continue to support home improvement efforts,” the statement said.
Hicks said he expects funding for the project to be announced in Tuesday’s budget.
While he welcomed some of the measures announced in the budget, such as a $3.2 million investment in shelters, he said there is nothing “hard-hitting” to solve the homelessness problem.
“The missing piece is clinical services for high acuity (individuals),” he said.
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