submitted by Melissa McDermott
The Lanark Leeds Grenville Addictions and Mental Health (LLGAMH) Drop-In Centre is pleased to launch its expanded winter hours that gives clients access to the Centre seven days a week from 8 am to 4 pm until March thanks to temporary funding from United Counties of Leeds and Grenville (UCLG).
The Drop-In Centre offers Brockville clients a safe, warm, and welcoming place to access basic needs such as laundry and shower facilities and cellphone charging. At the Centre, the LLGAMH Team also gives clients the option to participate in recreational programming such as arts and crafts, board games, cards, trivia, and group sessions, including harm reduction and therapy. The Drop-In Centre re-opened after the COVID-19 closure in January 2023, opening its doors every Monday to Friday from 1 to 4 pm to approximately 20 to 50 clients daily.
Matt Wren, Mayor, City of Brockville, said: “One of the gaps in our community, where we have a nighttime warming centre, but no daytime facility, was a place for people to go, stay warm and access basic amenities. The City of Brockville is very thankful to LLGAMH and the United Counties for making this space available for those who need it most over the winter months.”
Domenic Ielo, CEO, LLGAMH, added: “We are very grateful for UCLG’s invaluable community partnership and commitment to the health and well-being of our clients. The gap in service leading into the cold winter months has been on our radar. It is an incredible win for our clients and the broader community that with UCLG’s temporary funding, we can welcome clients to our Drop-In Centre seven days a week from December to March.”
For clients who are unhoused, the Drop-In Centre provides them with transportation to and from the Community Cooperative Centre (the nighttime warming centre opened from 4 pm to 8 am).
“The unhoused crisis is happening in towns and cities across Canada, but Brockville in particular, never really experienced this type of crisis, and we were unprepared for it,” said Chris Curry, Clinical Manager, Professional Practice and Education, LLGAMH, who manages the Centre. “Heading into the winter, our team has been concerned that our service gap would leave clients who are unhoused in the cold with nowhere safe and warm to go. Once we confirmed the funding support from UCLG, we moved as quickly as possible to staff up to launch our winter hours.”
The LLGAMH Team hired five staff members and a security guard to operate the expanded winter hours beginning December 15, 2023. These new hours apply to all holidays (e.g. Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, etc).
“I am so happy for our clients that we’re in the position to be open fully,” said Carrie Morton, Case Manager, Drop-In Centre, LLGAMH. “Now, no one has to worry about finding a safe, warm place to go, and everyone can meet their basic needs seven days a week.”
The Drop-In Centre located at 25 Front Avenue West, South Entrance in Brockville welcomes anyone who needs a safe, warm place to go seven days a week from 8 am to 4 pm.