An Edmonton non-profit agency is providing a safe place to stay around the clock for the city’s less fortunate.
Hope Mission has opened 150 day beds as part of a pilot project that will last six months. The agency said the 24/7 beds provide Edmonton’s most vulnerable a safe place to rest, recover, and receive referrals to other programs – the first of its kind in Edmonton.
The beds will be split between three areas, including a trailer next to the Herb Jamieson Centre. The beds were made possible through a $660,000 investment from the provincial government.
“We believe that everyone deserves a warm place, a place to call home and we still have people who don’t have that,” Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir said.
“In winter, it becomes even more important that we take steps and be able to provide those people with appropriate shelter.”
Those who use the beds will also have access to a doctor, be able to make an appointment with a psychiatrist, and get connected to housing, recovery, and other support services.
Melanie Fafard was once homeless and stayed at the Hope Mission several times. She said the day beds will be particularly helpful to those who are struggling the most.
“It’s good for the people that are sick. There’s a lot of people that are sick on the streets,” Fafard said.
“Six o’clock in the morning you have to get up. You’re out by 6:15, 6:30 at the latest and then you have no place to go until one of these shelters or drop-ins open.”
Hope Mission will have the grand opening of its 24/7 shelter on Wednesday afternoon.
Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir and City Councillor Scott McKeen will be on hand.
The project is being funded by the provincial government.
The shelter was previously closed between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.