By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Cobourg council has passed a motion calling for a contract to govern Transition House operations at 310 Division St. That will have three partners – the town, Transition House and Northumberland County.
The hope is that some kind of structure and accountability might address some of the concerns of a a pair of speakers who addressed council at its Jan. 31 meeting.
Jeff Crowley and Dr. Hillary Allen made the request, citing a similar situation that took place in Durham Region, when they purchased a 45-bed low-barrier emergency shelter in a densely populated area of Whitby. Allen described it as “a legally binding agreement regarding operational expectations.”
They were just two of the speakers decrying conditions in the neighbourhood of Transition House, currently located at 10 Chapel St. – a high-density business-and-residential neighbourhood.
Crowley listed such concerns as explicit drug use, trespassing, dumping garbage and public urination, not to mention a recent assault on two adults and a young child in the parking lot of Trinity United Church, just across the street from Transition House by one of its residents.
The Durham agreement, with its provisions for accountability and continuity, has been successful, he argued, and could serve as a model for this community.
The motion made by Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty directs staff review legal considerations in creating and implementing a licensing or permit system for emergency shelters through a regulatory bylaw that provides elements of protection, health and safety, and nuisance control.