Frequently Asked Questions
The goal of the new facility is to provide emergency shelter, transitional and supportive housing living in a safe, supportive environment where individuals experiencing homelessness are supported.
Housing is an essential determinant of health and well-being. Stable housing can be an effective tool in providing stability and wellness and an effective pathway to recovery. These outcomes are made even more real when informed by culturally appropriate supports and services. The proposed facility presents an important opportunity to meet people where they are, and to engage community and cultural supports in building trusting relationships. This space will work in complement with existing health and community supports, and where appropriate, public safety measures.
The new facility will include:
- 30 overnight emergency shelter beds
- 20 transitional beds
- 20 self-contained supportive housing units
- Mental health, addiction supports and other health services;
- Navigational supports to access services; and,
- Culturally appropriate and community-based wrap-around support services.
The new facility will be located at 264 Hamilton River Road at the former Tree Nursery Site; a large section of Crown Land that is situated near important services and can accommodate the building’s footprint.
The staffing model for the new facility will utilize existing staff resources from the Out of the Cold Shelter and components of the Supportive Living Program. The facility’s operations will include Labrador Grenfell Health programs and services, and programs from local community partners including Indigenous led cultural supports and programs. Staff at the new facility will possess the required skills and training to ensure safety of staff and guests.
The Housing Hub currently operates out of a leased space which will no longer be required as operation of all emergency shelter beds will move to the new facility. The new facility is designed to accommodate anticipated demand for shelter services and the Labrador Inn will no longer be required for emergency accommodations.
NL Housing has engaged the services of Fougere Menchenton Architecture Inc to assist with design and costing of this project. From a capital perspective it is anticipated that this project will draw in federal, provincial, and philanthropic investments, with an estimated cost of $32,000,000. NL Housing will work closely with all partners in the coming months to secure and finalize estimates and funding contributions to support the new facility.
Completion of the project will take an estimated 18 -24 months.
Transitional Housing is housing that is supportive but short term (between 3-6 months). It allows individuals to have a safe place to live, providing stability and time for individuals to work with a support team to develop a housing plan and conduct necessary preparations, such as secure IDs, apply for income support, apply to NL Housing, and reconnect with family.
Supportive Living is longer term in nature, often not having a precise end date. It typically includes a staffed, supportive environment that may also provide meals, social and cultural supports, counselling, and other services.
A low barrier shelter is an emergency response which serves the most vulnerable individuals, providing a warm, safe shelter bed. A low barrier shelter does not require an individual to be sober or complete programming to access a safe bed and supports. Low barrier shelters typically focus on meeting the individual where they are right now, addressing their immediate need for shelter.
This initiative is a direct response to an urgent situation. The current Out of the Cold (Housing Hub) emergency shelter has just nine shelter beds and demand for services has significantly outgrown its capacity. The existing physical space of the Hub also significantly limits the ability to bring required health and other supports on-site, and there is no space for on-site programming. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing client overflow has been accommodated at the Labrador Inn. While hotel accommodations can serve as a temporary response, privately operated hotels are used as a last resort.
The new facility is intended to provide a more appropriate and staffed emergency shelter response for the area. It will address these current gaps and bring housing options, along with health and other wrap-around services under one roof.
Managed Alcohol Program (MAP) is a harm reduction program that works with individuals to reduce harms associated with chronic alcohol use through the provision of a prescription and safe supply from a general practitioner or nurse practitioner, with the goal of preventing withdrawal. Individuals participate in a thorough assessment process to ensure that the program is the right fit for their current needs and goals. The program also works with individuals to identify other health care needs and provides primary health care services. Individuals who are not able to participate in the program will be referred to another appropriate service to ensure their needs are being met.
Under the Provincial Alcohol Action Plan, the Department of Health and Community Services will be developing a home-based withdrawal management program for those who are experiencing mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms.
At present, Labrador Grenfell Zone physicians work with individuals to determine what their needs are and if they require inpatient detox to manage withdrawal or if they can safely detox at home with appropriate medication and supports in place.
The Department of Health and Community Services has provided $200,000 to Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services (NLHS) LG Zone to develop a local managed alcohol program (MAP) and fund an outreach social worker position. Additional funding has also been received as a result of the alcohol action plan to assist with the expansion of the Opioid Dependence Treatment Hub (that will spearhead MAP) and a coordinator will be hired for MAP. LG Zone is working with local indigenous partners on developing this program, which will employ strategies to reduce harms for stable and unstably housed individuals with severe alcohol use disorders who have not responded to abstinence-oriented treatment. Depending upon individual client needs, the new facility in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Hub may employ this program as part of its operational model; similar to how it may be administered to others within the community.
Individuals must be willing participants in their own recovery and fully involved in treatment and plans for care. Detox is a decision that is made between a person and their care provider. Individuals, care providers, and Labrador Grenfell Zone are able to make referrals to in-Province detox. Stable housing can provide an important pathway to recovery and wellness.
The new facility will work alongside critical agencies that provide supports to women fleeing violence (e.g., Libra House) as well as other women serving agencies such as Mokami Status of Women. In addition, the proposed space will also be accessible to women who may wish to avail of services outside the traditional hospital environment.
The new facility has been designed in partnership with members of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Hub Community Action Team, comprised of representatives from federal, provincial, and Indigenous governments and community partners in the Housing and Homelessness serving sector in the area. Their collaborative work acknowledges the importance of bringing health, housing, and other supportive services together under one roof in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to meet people where they are, improve access to these supports, and provide individualized and client-centered supports to individuals experiencing many complex needs.
This project is being led by NL Housing, with significant support and guidance from the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Action Team, which includes representatives of federal, provincial, municipal, and Indigenous governments and community partners in the Housing and Homelessness serving sector in the area.
NL Housing currently works with the Nunatsiavut Government to operate the Housing Hub, an out of the cold shelter. This partnership also extends to include the Supportive Living Program, which includes 18 units throughout Happy Valley-Goose Bay and along the north coast. The Supportive Living Program has been a highly successful housing response which currently supports 35 clients with live in supports throughout the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area.
These existing partnerships within the Action Team as well as operational and staffing models present in the current Housing Hub and Supportive Living Program will be aligned within the new facility’s purpose-built space.
Consultation sessions with community stakeholders were conducted in Happy Valley-Goose Bay during the Spring and Summer of 2022. The objective of these sessions was to identify gaps in services, partnership opportunities, design considerations for the building plan and program offerings.
Public information sessions were also held in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in November 2022. Community members were invited to meet representatives of the local housing and homelessness serving sector and to learn more about their programs and services. The sessions also provided information on the proposed site for the new integrated Hub, drawings and information about the preliminary design of the new integrated Hub, and offered the opportunity to ask questions about this initiative.
The next phase of the project includes engagement of a Prime consultant to advance detailed design and site considerations of the new integrated Hub. This work will provide additional and ongoing opportunities for public engagement.