An emergency overnight stay program for homeless women turned away from full shelters will not be able to open this winter without new funding, says the Hamilton YWCA.

Carole Anne’s Place has run the overflow shelter out of the downtown YWCA for three years between December and March. Last winter, 200 women received help from the overnight program and its daytime drop-in partner, Willow’s Place.

But pilot funding from the Local Health Integration Network has ended, said YWCA operations director Medora Uppal — so organizers are appealing to the city for help at a meeting Nov. 7.

“We will be saying: the LHIN can’t do it. Can you step in?” said Uppal. “We just can’t morally or ethically say ‘Sorry, there is nowhere to sleep’ when there is snow all over the ground and -20 C conditions.”

It’s not even winter yet, but shelters in Vernon are already operating at capacity.

In fact, people are being turned away.

Randene Wejr, co-executive director of Turning Points Collaborative Society which operates the shelters, said in one week, there were 75 instances where someone had to be denied access.

That does not mean 75 people had to spend the night in the cold, as the same people could have been turned away multiple times.

The recent cold snap has made a warm bed even more of a necessity, and the really cold months haven’t even arrived yet.

The last of the homeless people who camped all summer and fall on the property at St. John’s Anglican Church were packing up to leave on Friday.

There were five tents left, down from a peak of about 18 in early summer after the Warming Room shelter closed on July 1.

The campers had clergy permission to stay, over the objections of some of the residents in the apartment tower next door; some apartment tenants said they were concerned for their safety.

But Rev. Brad Smith said recently he’s been concerned about the campers’ safety since it’s getting colder at night and the campers were expected gone by Nov. 1. Smith was not available for comment on Friday.

As three homeless people packed up around noon, they didn’t have plans for overnight shelter.

A day after the P.E.I. government revealed it posted a $57-million operating surplus in 2018-19, the executive director of the P.E.I. Council for People with Disabilities told a legislative committee Friday there’s no better time for the province to try to wipe out poverty.

“If we don’t address poverty now, when are we going to do it?” Marcia Carroll asked members of the province’s special committee on poverty.

“Seriously. We need to ask ourselves that question.”

The committee has been tasked with developing a costed plan for a basic income guarantee pilot project for P.E.I. While that idea has been talked about for years, the previous Liberal government concluded it couldn’t be done without financial support from Ottawa, which has thus far been denied.