Salvation Army’s Special Care Home might close at the end of the month

Saint John: The city of Saint John might lose another Special Care Home at the end of the month because of the lack of provincial funding.

The Union representing the workers at the Salvation Army Centre of Hope, CUPE local 4780, was informed last week that the four days of negotiation scheduled, were being postponed until further notice.

‘The employees of the Salvation Army were told that the building housing the Home and other services such as the homeless shelter, is in need of important repairs and that the facility would close at the end of February if they did not receive financial help from the provincial government’, explained Marcos Salib, CUPE Servicing Representative for Local 4780.

‘The employees were shocked when they were told they could be out of a job in two weeks, if the Salvation Army didn’t receive funding that would enable them to operate the Group Home for the next three years’, explained Salib.

‘With the closure of the Special Care Home not only 35 employees would lose their job, but it would leave 34 residents without a roof over their heads. The saddest part is that 12 homeless persons won’t have a place to sleep at night, in the middle of the winter. In addition to the 40 beds reserved for the special care home, the Centre of Hope also house a 27-bed shelter for the homeless’, explained Salib.

‘This situation at the Centre of Hope illustrates once more the need for a strong financial commitment from the government for community services such as; group homes, homeless shelters, special care homes, and transition houses. The workers who provide those community services are receiving low wages and practically no benefits; because the operation of those services is stretched with money they receive from the province, they do not know if they will have a job from year to year.’

‘These agencies provide a home for adults in our community that struggle with mental illness, other disabilities and social problems. For those people, the community residences, group homes, special care home and shelters are their homes and it’s time for Government to made a financial commitment to help the most vulnerable of our society’, concluded Salib.