Hamilton pauses intake of homeless couples after domestic violence, safety concerns

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Published December 7, 2021 at 3:10 pm

The City of Hamilton says it's pausing its intake of couples into emergency shelter spaces pending a safety review.

The City of Hamilton says it’s pausing its intake of couples into emergency shelter spaces pending a safety review.

In an official media release, the City said Tuesday (Dec. 7) the decision was made after “multiple incidents of concern raised by providers, including multiple incidents of domestic violence in hotels providing shelter in the past two weeks alone.”

The City says it will be undertaking a safety evaluation that accounts for the needs of women in situations of domestic violence with the aim to ensure their safety.

“The City’s hotel-based temporary emergency shelter spaces do not have the resources to adequately support couples together experiencing domestic violence, nor those experiencing acute mental health and addiction-related challenges,” said the City.

The City says the evaluation will consider advice from Indigenous partners, the Women’s Housing Planning Collaborative, and the Violence Against Women sector.

Individuals who need shelter will still be accommodated. The hotel-based temporary emergency shelter will focus on increasing space for single women and ask men to access available spaces in the men’s system.

Couples who wish to develop joint housing plans to secure permanent housing together will still be supported.

Prior to the pandemic, there was not a dedicated couples shelter.

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