“It has become very clear that the communities that make up North Hastings have a huge problem with homelessness and the issues that have put people at risk,” Reverend Lynn Watson says in a statement to My Bancroft Now. She adds that the Church attempted to address the issue with the help of volunteers that ended up being “beyond our scope.”

“The problems facing this community are too big for anyone to address through goodwill alone,” Watson says.

St. Paul’s United Church had been opened to the community as a warming centre up until Saturday morning. Watson did not go into detail in her statement as to why the closure happened, noting that a press conference will be held at a later date to give more details.

“I realize that this doesn’t answer all the questions that the public may have, but we are committed to honouring the confidentiality and human dignity of our guests over the last month,” Watson goes on to say.

“Coming to this decision was very difficult and our hearts are heavy, and we are gravely concerned for all those that have had to make other arrangements,” she says. “It would be my hope that the homeless issue will become the first concern of this community, and that brave steps would be made to eliminate homelessness.”

She thanks all those that helped set-up this set-up, whether they were volunteers or people who donated food, clothing or whatever else was needed.