AKWESASNE HEALING CENTRE AIMS TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS AND IMPROVE SERVICE ACCESSIBILITY
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is nearing closer to the launch of its Akwesasne Healing Centre located in Cornwall, Ontario. The MCA Department of Community & Social Services (DCSS) has been developing the pilot project for the past several months with the goal being to address the issue of homelessness being experienced by Akwesasronon in and around the community.
The centre is located within the former General Hospital on Second Street and has been renovated to fit the needs of a homeless shelter, with an initial set up of beds for 8 men, 2 women, and 1 family. The facility is designed with emphasis on wellness, health and safety. Cozy healing rooms are available for counseling, bedrooms are large and comfortably furnished, for security there are separate areas for men and women.
Additional services will also be offered in the areas of health, mental health & addictions, and justice, and those services are geared toward any person in need. MCA and DCSS are working in collaboration with health officials, police and both Akwesasne and Cornwall councils to create the services that are most needed and which will improve the lives of community members.
“The statistics surrounding homelessness and drug addiction are troublesome and continue to rise,” said Grand Chief Abram Benedict. “Our programs have worked to expand our existing services to help meet the needs. We see the Akwesasne Healing Centre as an initiative to meet the needs for our community members in and around Akwesasne. The additional services being built into the design will also go a long way in helping those who may have fallen through the cracks of public services. Bridging these gaps and connecting people to the services they need is a high priority for our Council and staff.”
On July 15, 2021, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Mental Health & Addictions Michael Tibollo toured the facility and had a meeting with Council and the department staff who have created the centre. He pledged his support of the endeavor and commended Akwesasne for the initiative taken and the strength behind indigenous-based healing.
Information on criteria for the shelter and a complete listing of services offered will be publicized once the opening date for the Akwesasne Healing Centre is confirmed.
If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please contact the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service at 613-575-2000.