Volume 93, Issue 40

Wednesday, November 10, 1999


Top soph dismissed by Essex executive

Engineer review to begin today

Aboutown drivers alleged in Fanshawe student beatings

Monopoly still a threat

Shelter proposal to go before city



Caught on campus

Shelter proposal to go before city

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

With the cold winter months ahead, the Salvation Army hopes to get youths in London off the streets and into a new youth shelter, provided they get support from the city within the next month.

"What we're finding is young people do not want to go [to shelters] with the older people," said Maj. Harold Hosken, community relations director for the Salvation Army.

Hosken said the hostel would house about 20 beds to accommodate the estimated 20 to 30 homeless youths. "We're hoping if we can just change one kid in our town, it will be worth it."

A hostel for youths is something which London is in dire need of, said Jeryme Lanteigne, a 23 year-old who has been homeless since he was 17.

Lanteigne explained winter months are terrible on the street. "They're pretty bad. You know Smuggler's Alley? One winter, there were 35 of us sleeping there one night. It does get pretty cold."

Lanteigne said he opposed staying in hostels which are largely populated by older people. "The people who run them will tell you they're safe, but they're not that safe," he said. Most street kids, he added, want to get off the streets whereas older homeless people do not.

The Salvation Army has done their homework on this project, Hosken said, explaining the centre would open on Richmond Street between Dundas and York Streets. "It's premature because it hasn't been passed by the city yet," he said.

"They're just finalizing a proposal to us," said Robert Collins, director of community relations for the city. The next meeting is Nov. 29 and if it passes the city's community and protective services committee, then it will move to city council a week later.

"They want money to be able to provide the service," he said, adding $80,000 would be needed to cover the costs of equipment, staff and food for starters, plus ongoing costs afterwards. Collins said the idea of a youth home is something the London community would support. "I think many Londoners would feel more confident knowing there was an appropriate youth shelter at night."

Deputy Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco said at this point she was unfamiliar with the proposal, but if the city were to fund the project, it is unlikely they would pay for 100 per cent of the cost.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999