MONCTON (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments are investing a total of $480,000 for the purchase and renovation of a building to help Nazareth House expand its shelter operations.

“Last year, homelessness reached a critical point in New Brunswick,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard. “While I am proud of the work we accomplished with our governmental and community partners, no one should have to live in precarious living conditions. The expansion of Nazareth House will help professionals connect with homeless individuals so that we can help them get the services and supports they require to find safe, comfortable and suitable housing.”

The new facility will feature so-called “dry” areas, where residents are not allowed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as well as “damp” areas, where such restrictions do not apply. It will also offer on-site access to support services that will help clients with mental health or addictions problems and assist them as they transition to more permanent housing.

"Homelessness in our city is an issue near and dear to my heart, and I am proud of this government for stepping up and helping the most vulnerable populations of Moncton have access to a roof above their heads,” said federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor. “Our government is, and will remain, dedicated to helping those in need, which is why we are proud to have invested in Nazareth House. These new units are more than just safe and affordable places to live; they are key to a better life for the residents who will call them home.”

Petitpas Taylor made the announcement on behalf of federal Families, Children and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, who is also the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The provincial and federal governments are sharing the cost evenly under the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement. The provincial government is also allocating $66,500 to help Nazareth House with operating costs and will help to provide services and rent supplements for clients.

“Eliminating homelessness requires that we think differently and act collectively to find sustainable and long-lasting solutions,” said Jean F. Dubé, executive director of Nazareth House. “We must join our efforts to go from merely managing the problem, to completely stamping it out.”

Earlier this year, the Department of Social Development announced it would invest an additional $659,000 to help people in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John experiencing homelessness transition to more permanent housing solutions. Department staff continue to meet with municipal leaders and community organizations to find those solutions.