The first Pallet village in the province, with 19 of these units, will be located in Lower Sackville. (Contributed)
Nova Scotians experiencing homelessness will soon have a new shelter option with the first Pallet village opening at Beacon House in Lower Sackville.
The charitable organization will provide operational and wraparound supports for people living in 19 Pallet units. Pallet is a North American leader in rapid-response shelter villages designed and built by people with lived experience.
“Solutions are often not as simple as finding someone an available apartment. There are many who need more than a home for stability. This could mean treatment for addiction, harm reduction services, mental health care or more,” said Trevor Boudreau, Minister of Community Services. “It is our goal to provide sheltering options that help people on the road to more permanent supportive housing options, and Pallet is another step on the path.”
The units are expected to arrive in late January. Once assembled, they will be connected to power and water; final preparations will include installing fencing around the site before residents move in.
People living in encampments will be given priority and service providers and outreach workers will continue to work with people experiencing homelessness to determine which shelter option best meets their needs.
The Department is working with partners/service providers to set up more villages in the coming months:
- 30 Pallet units on Henry Street in Sydney, with Ally Centre and New Dawn Enterprises
- 20 Pallet units at 136 Exhibition St., Kentville, with Open Arms Resource Centre
- an undetermined number of Pallet units at the Halifax Forum, 6210 Young St., with 902 Man Up.
Timing will be announced once locations have been surveyed.
The units purchased by the Province are single occupancy. Residents will have access to meals, transportation, washroom and laundry facilities, and supports and services to transition to permanent housing. Service providers for all villages will provide additional services like health and employment supports based on residents’ needs.
In preparation, the Department will continue working closely with partners including the departments of Public Works and Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Office of the Fire Marshal, service providers, Nova Scotia Power, Halifax Water and municipalities.
“With the continuing support of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth and the strong community
spirit of Lower Sackville, the Beacon House shelter is well prepared to add these 19 Pallet shelters
to our operations and get more people out of the cold.”
— Jim Gunn, Chair, Leadership Support Team, Beacon House
- Beacon House provides services and supports to people experiencing homelessness in and around the Sackville area; it operates a shelter on Metropolitan Avenue, as well as a retail store and food bank to support vulnerable Nova Scotians
- the Province purchased 200 units from Pallet, 100 designated for Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and 100 for other communities, including Sydney and Kentville
- the Province will invest $7.5 million in shelters produced by Pallet, which includes bed frames, mattresses and desks, and support operations
- there are 355 shelter beds in HRM, with 493 shelter beds provincewide
- in the last two years, the Province has created 474 new supportive housing units – 44 per cent of its 1,085 target; there are currently 643 supportive housing units across Nova Scotia
News release - New Shelter Opening in Halifax: https://news.novascotia.ca/en/2024/01/08/new-shelter-opening-halifax
News release – More Supports for People Experiencing Homelessness: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20231207001
News release – Emergency Winter Shelter Opening in HRM: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20231103001
News release – More Funding for Supportive Housing, Shelter Options: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20231011002
News release – New Supportive Housing for Women, Gender-Diverse People Experiencing Homelessness: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20231110001