QUEEN’S PARK – Lise Vaugeois, NDP MPP for Thunder Bay—Superior North, is calling on the Ford government to provide the funding needed to save local outreach services like Street Outreach Services (SOS) so they can continue to support vulnerable people in Thunder Bay this winter.
On Sept. 20, Thunder Bay Shelter House announced that it is being forced to permanently close its SOS service due to a dire lack of funding and staff. In Question Period Wednesday, Vaugeois spoke out about the importance of SOS and the services the program provides to Thunder Bay.
“Street Outreach Services provides vital support to the unhoused and underhoused community in Thunder Bay,” said Vaugeois. “For those experiencing homelessness, the SOS van provides a warm space, good food, and vital transportation to shelters that may be hard to access. SOS has literally saved lives these last two winters. It is an irreplaceable service.
SOS is just one of three key community outreach services that will not be able to operate this winter because of the lack of funding.
“Each one of these services needs core operating funding so that they will always be available for those who need it,” said Vaugeois. “Thunder Bay is a hub for a huge area of Northwestern Ontario. People come here for miles to access various types of services. Often their lives depend on services like SOS being available.
“With winter approaching, the Ford government needs to step forward and provide the necessary funding to keep these important outreach services open in Thunder Bay.”