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Marshall House Shelter to close in January

Last Updated Nov 2, 2019 at 9:09 am MST

IMAGE. Supplied by Wood Buffalo Housing.

Wood Buffalo Housing (WBH) announced the Alberta government will no longer fund the Marshall House Emergency Homeless Shelter.

Informed on Oct. 31 by the province, the group said the decision is due to the shelter not operating at capacity for a number of years.

Therefore, Marshall House will close on Jan. 31, 2020.

WBH said once the shelter closes, clients should have a place to stay at the expanded Salvation Army shelter.

Although extremely saddened, WBH president and CEO Henry Hunter said the news did not entirely surprise him.

“We have been fighting to have the funding renewed every year since the wildfire, and after seeing the budget and being involved in conversations with our local MLA, we saw the writing on the wall.”

The closure would affect nine full-time staff.

As for clients, WBH said they would have conversations with tenants living on the second and third floors over the next week.

“Unfortunately,” Hunter said, “We will not be able to maintain the operating costs based on the small amount of rent we receive from the tenants on the other two floors.”

Hunter added the province would assist as they explore options for what to do with the Marshall House space.