Mission Accomplished at Temporary Emergency Shelter Aquatic Centre

The City of Windsor and partners operating the Temporary Emergency Shelter in the Aquatic Centre (TESAC) are pleased to support the transition of residents back to the Downtown Mission.

As the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has lifted the previous closure order against the Downtown Mission, and the quarantine period is now complete, the transition of COVID-free residents from the temporary emergency shelter will begin on Thursday, March 25, 2021.

“I want to congratulate our City staff, Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario (ALSO), the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Family Services Windsor Essex (FSWE), Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) and all the Downtown Mission staff involved for the work done to open and operate this temporary emergency shelter,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “From transforming an aquatics centre into an emergency shelter, to ensuring individuals experiencing homelessness had a safe place to stay, to helping facilitate vaccinations with our Emergency Medical Services, this has been an incredible effort.”

The transformation of the facility began on Sunday, February 21, 2021, and the first guests were welcomed into TESAC on Thursday, February 25, 2021. During that time, over 160 emergency shelter residents across all sites were provided shelter and meals and tested for COVID-19, and over 150 residents received a COVID-19 vaccination.

The transition back to the Downtown Mission will take place over the coming days, with approximately 20 relocating each day.

As per the original timeframe, it is expected the TESAC will be completely empty and closed by Monday, March 29, 2021, and City staff will begin the process of returning the site to its former state. Once the Government of Ontario adjusts Windsor-Essex within the Reopening Framework to permit recreation services, the aquatic centre may be able to re-open, consistent with public health recommendations.

Lynn Calder, the Executive Director of ALSO states, “On behalf of our partnership coalition, it has been a pleasure to work with the City of Windsor, The Downtown Mission and all the partners at TESAC and the Isolation/Recovery Centre. All partners share a commitment to our most vulnerable citizens who experience homelessness. All have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of residents and the necessary Infection Prevention and Control procedures are implemented. It has taken community collaboration and cooperation, but we can now say that this outbreak is behind us. While we feel some pride in this work, more than anything we feel relief that we have weathered these unfortunate circumstances as a community.”

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