Huron County’s emergency shelter reopening Nov. 15

·3 min read

GODERICH – Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home emergency shelter will reopen its doors on Nov. 15, a press release from the County of Huron said.

The shelter, located at Lakeshore United Church in Goderich, will accommodate up to 15 individuals per evening, with meals provided for the cold weather season.

The County of Huron continues to address the complexities associated with homelessness, poverty, and housing instability in the county. Therefore, the county is implementing both immediate and long-term solutions, the release said.

“A variety of life circumstances can bring someone to be in crisis, without a place to call home. When this happens, people need support and they need shelter,” said Warden Glen McNeil.

The release said that 16 individuals have been successfully, permanently homed since the shelter opened in 2020, with assistance from the Heart to Home Stability Team. This team will continue its efforts in the 2021-22 season.

Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home is staffed with trained professionals to provide wrap-around supports and services.

The goal is to transition guests into permanent housing solutions through partnerships with the County of Huron, Choices for Change, and CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services.

“We continue to do this important work of providing safety and supports during the cold weather season to some of the most vulnerable individuals in our area,” said Lori Cribley Clark, regional manager of rural services at the Exeter and Goderich Sites, CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services.

“As a team, we work together to provide them a warm space and a meal while we work at building rapport and resources in hopes that their challenges may become fewer and successful housing a viable option for them in the future.

“CMHA Thames Valley Addiction & Mental Health Services is pleased to continue its partnership with Huron County and Choices for Change for the next season of the Out of the Cold shelter.”

Executive Director of Choices for Change: Alcohol, Drug & Gambling Counselling Centre, Catherine Hardman, said in the release, “Choices for Change is pleased to work with our partners and the community to ensure the safety of the homeless population over the winter months.”

“This is a temporary solution to a long-term and complex problem,” Hardman said. “It’s the responsibility of all citizens of a community to work towards permanent housing solutions to support our most vulnerable population.”

The release outlined other Huron County initiatives currently underway:

Agency coordination: A Homelessness Task Force was developed in 2020 to address concerns for individuals experiencing homelessness in Huron’s community.

Further development of wrap-around supports: Staff provides wrap-around supports in coordinated action with local agencies and volunteers.

Exploring supportive housing: County of Huron staff are working to explore supportive housing requirements that align with the county’s Long-Term Affordable Housing and Homelessness Plan.

Homeless enumeration study: The study, occurring this fall, will provide an opportunity to gain a current snapshot of homelessness in the community.

The county extended its thanks to Lakeshore United Church and every other agency, community group, and volunteer, who has contributed time and resources for Huron’s Out of the Cold program and showed compassion to take care of the community’s most vulnerable persons.

For more information on Huron Out of the Cold: Heart to Home, including emergency shelter contacts, visit

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times

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