HALIFAX – It wasn’t easy for Shane Pizzariello to read about a Saskatoon couple who felt they would become homeless after losing their jobs as caretakers of a Wentworth hostel.
Pizzariello, manager of Hostels International’s Halifax site, knows all too well the challenges of running the Wentworth hostel, which he handled in 1999 before moving to Halifax.
He also knows how difficult it was to fire Jonathan and Kia Pedersen after just eight months on the job. Pizzariello is Jonathan’s father.
“We’re getting through it,” Pizzariello said from Stanfield International Airport on Monday before boarding a flight to Newfoundland to inspect a prospective location for Hostels International.
Last week, the Pedersens took issue with their termination at the hands of Hostels International Maritimes board of directors, alleging inadequate training before an inspection by the hostel’s previous manager, Gloria Demers, which lead to their termination and the re-appointment Demers as manager.
After the Pedersens story was published (“Couple fired from Wentworth hostel face homelessness,” Amherst Daily News, Feb. 12), Hostels International Maritimes board member and president Diane Powell revised her statement to the media, introducing Pizzariello into the situation and his involvement in the firing of his own son after the board decided to end the Pedersens’ employment.
“It was Shane who visited on a number of occasions throughout the fall and early winter to address cleaning and maintenance concerns, it was Shane who gave them warnings and it was Shane who finally told them they would have to leave,” Powell says.
Pizzariello said it was a difficult situation but action was warranted.
“Far from wearing a white glove, we went from top to bottom of expectations,” Pizzariello said.
“I talked to him about issues on a personal note, e-mails, (but) finally it came to a written warning.”
When the Pedersens failed their final inspection and were fired, Pizzariello says he offered them a place to stay at the Halifax Hostel or his own apartment in Halifax. The Pedersens, however, described themselves as dejected and abandoned, looking for work and concerned they would be living out of their car on Monday.
On Sunday, the Pedersens reported they had found a place to live and work in the Truro area.
Efforts to reach the Pedersens on Monday were unsuccessful.