Halifax regional council has unanimously approved a $50,000 grant for Shelter Nova Scotia that will go toward developing a plan for a new facility on Barrington Street.
Known as Metro Turning Point 2.0, the new shelter would be built on what's currently a vacant lot with a few trees.
The plan is intended to address the concerns of people who live in the area, identify gaps in services for people transitioning to stable housing from homelessness, and figure out design criteria that would compliment the heritage significance of the area.
"Some of the residents in that area were concerned when they heard a shelter wanted to purchase the lot on the corner and saw it as yet another thing being dumped in the community. I got a lot of angry emails about it," Coun. Waye Mason told regional council Tuesday.
"And so we cooked up this idea of having a deeper engagement and coming up with a master plan to address those concerns. My feeling is a lot of what we see as concerns can be addressed through good design."
Mason said the zoning of the land allows for six storeys. He also noted the site at 2190 Barrington St. is close to other services like the Brunswick Street Mission and the original Metro Turning Point.
He said council could have just sold the land to Shelter Nova Scotia for $1, but he said it was important the community had an opportunity to be involved.
Mason also noted the property backs onto one of the oldest residential buildings in the city, Akins Cottage.
"All these things need to be considered and I'm really glad we're able to move ahead with this community discussion toward a solution for these people who are definitely experiencing significant need," Mason said.
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