Non-profit community agency asking St. Catharines for help with staff parking

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Published December 14, 2021 at 1:28 pm

In a letter dated December 3, Laura Dumas, the executive director of Start Me Up Niagara, asked St. Catharines city staff for a little help with the costly parking situation for her staff.

“We currently have 18 staff persons that work in our Gale (Crescent) location that would require monthly parking passes,” said Dumas.

“As our community begins to open and tries to operate as it had in the past, it is becoming more difficult for our staff to find street parking and many staff cannot afford to pay the $50 monthly fee required to park in the (nearby) Riordin (Street) lot.”

Start Me Up Niagara, a non-profit organization, has programs to help people facing poverty, homelessness, mental health and addiction.

“On a daily basis, we have approximately 100-plus clients that are served by staff at our St. Catharines, 17 Gale Crescent location,” continued Dumas. “Our Resource Drop In Center assists individuals with filling out forms, accessing medical care, food, warm clothing, a place to stay warm and an environment where everyone is welcome.”

Dumas is asking, on behalf of her staff, for either free parking or a reduced rate for the Rioden lot.

“On behalf of the agency, I am respectfully requesting that our staff be granted access to the Riordin
Parking lot and that the monthly parking fee be waived,” she said in her letter. “I would be remiss if I did not state that as a nonprofit agency, I would very much appreciate free parking, if this is a viable option to consider.”

“If this is not an option, we would opt for a reduced monthly rate that the agency would attempt to fund.”

She added that if all possible the city extend it free or reduced parking until the end of next year.

“I would like to ask that we receive this special permission from council until December 31, 2022 at which
time I would gladly appeal to the city councillors again if the lot was to remain available,” she said.

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