Orangeville council approves Out of the Cold agreement with Choices, deputy mayor shares concerns with funding

April 27, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Orangeville council recently reviewed the Out of the Cold program run by Choices Youth Shelter and partially funded by the town.

During a regular council meeting on April 17, council approved a one-time operating cost of $11,000 to fund 50 per cent of the Out of the Cold Program through Orangeville’s Community Grants Program. Council also passed a bylaw to enter into an agreement with Choices Youth Shelter for the Out of the Cold program service, which provided five beds to homeless men overnight from March 6 to April 1.

On March 27, Choices Youth Shelter opened the Dufferin Men’s Shelter, offering eight beds that men can access 24/7.

When the Out of the Cold program came up on council’s agenda at its April 17 meeting, Deputy Mayor Todd Taylor said while he thinks it is a good cause, he’s concerned with the Town of Orangeville funding it.

“I still fundamentally disagree with us funding these things, this should be a county initiative, this should be coming out of the county budget,” said Taylor. “We are being double taxed or double charged, and I know it’s a benevolent thing, so it’s not the issue. It’s where we’re paying it from.”

With an estimated $30,000 for the town to fund the Out of the Cold Program next winter, Taylor said he’s eager to review the program’s results, which will be presented to council in the fall. 

“I’ll be very interested on the post mortem on this to understand whether or not this is right,” he said. “I question whether it is, and if we’re going to spend taxpayers’ money, that’s my right as a councillor to do that.” 

Taylor added, “People can say I don’t care for the groups – that’s not the case. It’s just I’m not sure we’re spending our money in a proper way on this initiative.”

In the third quarter of this year, town staff will report back to council on discussions they have with the County of Dufferin’s Community Services Department and Choices Youth Shelter about the program. At that time, town staff will debrief and analyze the outcomes of the Out of the Cold Program and discuss lessons learned that can be applied to create a more informed funding model for the future.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.