NS signs a deal to transform the Dartmouth hotel into a homeless shelter and health clinic

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Nova Scotia’s government says a Halifax-area hotel that’s already been housing some homeless people will soon become a full-fledged shelter and health clinic.

The Progressive Conservative government announced Friday it’s signed a deal worth $10 million to lease all 190 rooms inside the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Dartmouth, NS, from May 1 to March 24, 2024.

Many homeless people had already been staying at the Hilton, in rooms rented by the government, but the hotel had continued to remain open to the public.

When the clinic opens, Health Minister Michelle Thompson said it will serve as a source of temporary support for people who need help with mental illnesses, divert people from crowded emergency departments, and help lessen the length of hospital stays for homeless people.

“When patients are well enough to be released from the hospital, they often need some extra recovery time at home or with a loved one. Until now, people who are homeless have not had this option and have had to remain in hospital,” said Thompson in a news release Friday.

In addition to the cost of leasing the building, the government says $2.85 million will be spent on services, including $2.5 million from the Department of Community Services for operations, $1 million in funding for the clinic from the Department of Health and Wellness and $350,000 from the Department of Seniors and Long-term Care.

Community Services Minister Karla MacFarlane said workers at the hotel are being offered employment at the shelter, have accepted another position from the company that operates the hotel or are being assisted in finding other work.