Hope Mission to provide 24/7 beds to Edmontonians in need of a place to stay

Click to play video: 'Edmonton shelter now offering 24-hour service' Edmonton shelter now offering 24-hour service
WATCH ABOVE: Winter in Edmonton is usually very cold and for the homeless, a place to find shelter and warmth is critical. As Sarah Kraus reports, a 24-hour shelter is now available to those who need it. – Oct 21, 2016

Vulnerable Edmontonians who don’t have a place to call home will have access to around-the-clock services this winter.

Beginning Nov. 1, Hope Mission will provide shelter space for people in crisis 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently, the shelter is closed between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

“It will be a safe, warm shelter to sleep in during the day – something that does not currently exist in Edmonton,” Hope Mission said in a Facebook post Thursday morning.

One-hundred-fifty day beds will be made available at the shelter, just north of downtown. This will include space for people with low mobility.

People in need will be able to meet with case managers, see a doctor and be connected to much-needed resources.

Hope Mission’s supervisor, who used to be homeless, said the pilot program will be a life saver in the winter.

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“It’s very cold. You’ve got nowhere to go,” Shawn Leitch said. “You’re not really welcome anywhere because you are homeless. And because you are homeless and the resources weren’t there, you’re dirty, you smell, you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ve got a backpack on your back, so you’re carrying an extra 30 to 40 pounds with you all day every day. It’s horrible.”

The pilot project will last six months.

The announcement comes as Edmonton conducts its biennial homeless count.

READ MORE: Edmonton counts homeless population 2 years after price of oil crashes

Over 250 volunteers began combing the streets Wednesday night to begin a 24-hour long count of the city’s homeless population.

Watch below: Mayor Don Iveson is pushing for more affordable housing in Edmonton as the Trudeau government listens to stakeholders about what they want in a national housing strategy. As Sarah Kraus reports, Iveson listened directly to homeless Edmontonians Monday to hear what they had to say about the issue.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton mayor speaks to homeless people about affordable housing concerns' Edmonton mayor speaks to homeless people about affordable housing concerns
Edmonton mayor speaks to homeless people about affordable housing concerns – Oct 17, 2016

Homeward Trust’s biennial homeless count is used to track changes and trends in Edmonton. The last time the count was done was only months after the staggering slide in oil prices began in June of 2014.

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In 2014, the homeless count identified just over 2,300 people in Edmonton living without a home.

With files from Phil Heidenreich, Global News.

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