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Parkside Centre opens its doors as dining space for the homeless

It will be available for people to bring take-out meals from the soup kitchen and eat in comfort
homeless
Starting Monday, the Parkside Centre, located in the YMCA building in downtown Sudbury, will  open its doors and provide dining space where people can eat takeout meals they pick up from the Elgin Street Mission and Blue Door Soup Kitchen. (File)

Starting Monday, the Parkside Centre, located in the YMCA building in downtown Sudbury, will  open its doors and provide dining space where people can eat takeout meals they pick up from the Elgin Street Mission and Blue Door Soup Kitchen.

The Parkside Centre will open Monday, Dec. 7 and will operate seven days a week, in alignment with meal service at the Elgin Street Mission and Blue Door Soup Kitchen:

Monday to Friday for dinner, 5:30-7 p.m.

Monday to Friday for lunch, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday for brunch, 10-11:30 a.m.

“Homelessness initiatives continue to be a top priority for city council,” said Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger. “We understand that providing dining space for our vulnerable population addresses a growing need. We are proud of our community partners, the Parkside Centre, for stepping up to offer dining space, and the YMCA for assisting in facilitating as well as providing the warming centre and providing support throughout the summer. People are familiar with this location and the people who work there, and this is a comfortable place where they can come in from the cold and eat their meals.”

The city is providing approximately $250,000 in funding to operate the dining space at Parkside Centre until the end of April. The centre has capacity for 50 people. To help keep everyone safe and reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, tables and chairs will be sanitized after each use, and there will be daily screening. For more information on the dining space, call the YMCA at 705-673-6227.

“We are very happy to extend our support to people experiencing homelessness, especially during these uncertain times,” said Jim Spencer, chair of the board of directors at The Parkside Centre. “Our board is ready to welcome visitors on Monday, and every day at mealtime, throughout the winter season.”

This latest service complements programs already underway at the YMCA. The city is funding an overnight warming centre at the Y, which opened Nov. 16 and offers a safe, comfortable, warm place for people to visit, with access to washrooms and light refreshments. It’s open seven days a week, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. For more information on the overnight warming centre, call the YMCA at 705-674-8315.

In addition, the city and the Elgin Street Mission are working together to deliver take-out meals to the Homelessness Network Daytime Drop-In Centre at 19 Frood Rd. Between Dec. 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, up to 32 meals will be delivered daily from the Blue Door Soup Kitchen and Elgin Street Mission to the Centre. The city is providing more than $7,000 in funding.