CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — People were relaxed and milling about on Friday, June 11 not long after the Community Outreach Centre officially opened the doors at its new location in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
A Salvation Army van sits outside the former Charlottetown Curling Club on Friday, June 11. It is the new location for the Community Outreach Centre that opened on Friday. The Salvation Army is responsible for staffing the centre. – Dave Stewart/The Guardian
Due to client privacy reasons, the SaltWire Network wasn’t permitted to speak to anyone officially but was invited in for a brief tour of the former Charlottetown Curling Club and chatted with some of the staff.
Some clients were just relaxing on couches reading while others were on the computers, scouring the Internet for jobs and housing possibilities.
The outreach centre had been operating out of the Smith Lodge on Weymouth Street. It closed on the night of Thursday, June 10. The much more spacious curling club location opened the next morning.
The provincial Department of Social Development and Housing has signed a six-month lease with the owner of the curling club to operate the centre.
“It feels awesome; it’s really great,’’ Lt. Emily Newbury, executive director of the Salvation Army in Charlottetown which is responsible for staffing the outreach centre, said in describing how it felt to be in the new space. “Throughout the past week, we’ve been moving in what we can slowly, making sure that services could still be provided … at Smith Lodge.’’
The centre offers support to people seeking financial assistance, counselling, food and housing. Clients can also make phone calls and use computers, do their laundry and access washrooms.