Media Release

July 7, 2020

Premier Ball Announces Funding for a Temporary Low-barrier Emergency Shelter

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC), today announced $732,000 to fund a temporary low-barrier emergency shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness.


A low-barrier shelter will provide more access to those in need of a safe place to shelter with an emphasis on accepting individuals as they are and supporting them to secure more stable housing options.


Premier Ball and Minister Dempster announced the funding at The Gathering Place in St. John’s, the site of the interim emergency shelter.  This temporary 30-bed shelter which will be open from 8:00 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. seven days a week shelter will be operational by September 2020 and will support an effective response to any second wave of COVID-19 that may occur.


Meanwhile, work is underway to develop a permanent low-barrier shelter through a request for proposals, which will be issued by NLHC within the coming week.



“The addition of a low-barrier shelter is a much needed response along the housing continuum that will better serve the needs of those experiencing homelessness in our community. Establishment of a temporary shelter at this time is reflective of the many collaborative efforts between government and community partners in responding to the needs of vulnerable persons during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador


“Operating with a harm reduction approach, this low-barrier shelter will draw upon the expertise of the non-profit sector working in partnership with NLHC and Eastern Health to respond to the complex and underlying needs of those experiencing homelessness. This interim shelter will help guide the planning that is underway for the design and programming needs for a permanent low-barrier shelter.”

Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation


“This pandemic time, beginning in the late winter and early spring, made more visible and more real the need for a low-barrier emergency shelter in St. John’s. We are pleased that, through a truly collaborative relationship including Government, Eastern Health, community partners and The Gathering Place, we are now putting in place a temporary “Out of the Cold” shelter and program.”

Sister Elizabeth Davis, rsm
Chair, The Gathering Place


– 30 –


Learn more
Follow us on Twitter @GovNL, and @nlhousing


Media contacts

Jeremy Reynolds
Office of the Premier


Jenny Bowring
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation