CBRM Pallet Village on track to welcome first residents in August

Construction is underway on the site and Pallet shelters are expected to arrive in late July

Timeline for construction and set-up of the Pallet Village

The 35 single-unit Pallet shelters for the CBRM Pallet Village are expected to arrive on-site the week of July 22, 2024. The Pallet shelters can each be assembled in under an hour.

It is estimated that it will take at least two to four weeks for power connections to each unit to be completed.

In the meantime, work is underway to convert one of the two former New Dawn Welding College buildings into an accessible community building for the Pallet Village. This building will include staff office spaces, washrooms and showers (including accessible washrooms and showers), laundry facilities, a shared kitchen and living room, and programming/clinical spaces (for physician, nursing, counselling, etc. meetings).

Privacy, safety and dignity at the Pine Tree Park Pallet Village

The Pallet Village will be surrounded by a wooden fence to (a) provide Village residents with a sense of privacy (b) allow for controlled entry into the Village.

The Village does not allow day or night-time visitors. A secure entry, monitored 24/7 by staff, will ensure those entering the Village are staff, service providers, or volunteers.

Residents, staff, service providers, and volunteers will be able to leave the Village as they want/need, it is only entry/re-entry that needs to be verified.

Creating a unique and vibrant place to call home

In the fall, we aspire to engage local artists to plan and paint a large-scale mural on the wooden fence. We have been working with local artists Alison Uhma and Robyn Young to design wraps for the units in the Village to lessen their homogeneity and institutional feel.

Inspiration for the colour pallet is drawn from traditional maritime homes and communities. The concept of dignity was front of mind during this process. The hues chosen are bright, bold and warm.

New Dawn has engaged Nectar Cape Breton to design and construct four large vegetable gardens (for snackable foods like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and peppers). Residents interested in learning about and participating in food production will be provided with the tools and training. In addition to the vegetable garden, climbing roses are being planned for some of the fencing.

A local landscaping company will provide daily debris and needle sweeps of the Pine Tree community (within and around Village and throughout community). In the recent annual spring clean up of the Pine Tree Park property by Pathways Cape Breton, more than 20 needles were collected and disposed.

Needles are increasingly a reality in all of our communities and the needle and debris sweeps are a proactive measure to support positive relationships between, and safe and confident property use for, all tenants at Pine Tree Park.

Pallet Village Manager

The Ally Centre has hired the Pallet Village Manager, Yvonne Jessome, who brings a background in both public health and mental health and addictions to her work at the Village.

Since starting in her role as Pallet Village Manager, Yvonne has been focused on policy development, outreach to other service provider organizations, getting up to speed on the Village development work that preceded her arrival, and working with additional prospective clients to complete VATs (Vulnerability Assessment Tools – the standardized intake assessment being used at Pallet Villages across the province).

Pine Tree Park Good Neighbours Committee

June 26 marked the first meeting of the Pine Tree Park Good Neighbours committee – a community of tenants/organizations/residents at Pine Tree Park who wish to stay connected to the development and operations of the Pallet Village.

The committee will serve as a conduit for questions, concerns, and suggestions from existing Pine Tree tenants to New Dawn and Ally Centre staff. It will continue to meet monthly throughout 2024 and consider transitioning to quarterly meetings in 2025 (subject to need for committee + committee input).

CBRM and Emergency Services Meeting

Also on June 26, New Dawn and Ally Centre staff met with CBRM CAO Marie Walsh; Chief of Police Robert Walsh; Cape Breton Regional Fire Chief, Mark Bettens; Fire Inspector, Steve MacKenzie; CBRM Director of Emergency Management Office, Bruce MacDonald; CBRM Director of Public Works, Wayne MacDonald; Community Consultation Liaison (Mayor’s Office), Mike Targett; and Communications Coordinator (Mayor’s Office), Rob MacNamara.

The meeting allowed for discussion of items like police protocol, fire fighting in/at the Pallet Village, municipal snow removal around the Village, emergency vehicle access to the Village, access to nearby fire hydrants, and plans to support communication and information sharing among all in attendance pre- and post-Village opening.

New Dawn and the Ally Centre are planning for an Open House/Tour of the Village and community building once both are complete but prior to the arrival of residents. This Open House/Tour will be for CBRM emergency services personnel and will also be open to Pine Tree Park tenants/organizations.

Community Update and Volunteer Session

On July 24, New Dawn and the Ally Centre will hold a community update and volunteer session at the Eltuek Arts Centre (170 George St., Sydney) at 6:30pm.

Join us to learn about the progress towards the Pallet Village opening and volunteer opportunities, and to share with us ways in which you might like to support the work and success of the Village (i.e. welcome baskets, providing programming like music, yoga or art, or helping out in other ways).

Pre-registration for the event is required and you can register here.

More information about the Pallet Village

All of the information posted to the New Dawn website about the Pallet Village, including information about the Pallet shelter units, Pallet’s dignity standards, and information about the province-wide Pallet Village initiative and project partners, can now be found here.