Guelph, ON, December 8, 2022: The Council-endorsed Strategic Advisory Group on downtown Guelph, a subcommittee of the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness and Community Safety, has supported a request to Guelph City Council for an extension of daytime services for people in need at the Royal City Mission. There is a gap in daytime space available between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. and Council’s support of the request would make the space available for an additional four hours a day over the next year.
This measure is intended to be a short-term solution and the group is now focused on identifying longer-term solutions to daytime service options for people in need. These services will include health and community services, as well as hygiene and storage options.
Funding the Royal City Mission will not address the rise of mental health and addiction issues exacerbated by the pandemic. It will also not respond to the acute crises occurring downtown. Mental health and addictions require comprehensive health interventions, and currently, the necessary health capacity is non-existent or immensely under-resourced and strained. Those who are struggling the most do not have pathways to the health care they require, and the group is analyzing and conducting a system redesign that will require advocacy to upper levels of government for funding.
Mayor Cam Guthrie says, “I’m glad that our group was able to endorse this funding request to increase daytime service hours at the Royal City Mission, but this is just the start. I believe this shows the downtown businesses and community that we are acting on these important matters. We will do more, we need to do better”.
CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Group, Shakiba Shayani adds, “The group will continue to focus on making our downtown a welcoming and thriving place for all community members while meeting the basic needs of people who are struggling. Mental health, addiction issues, and homelessness are system failures, so we’re taking the system redesign task seriously. Informed by diverse voices and evidence-based; we’ll share what that plan looks like and what it will take to implement it”.
Expanding daytime and overnight services and facilities is one of the six priority areas identified to help keep Guelph downtown welcoming and safe.
Learn more about the priority areas, intended outcomes, tactics in progress, and available community resources on guelph.ca.
Mayor Cam Guthrie
City of Guelph
President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce
519-822-8081 extension 2