Calgary homeless shelter experiencing pressure from demand and the weather
A Calgary shelter aimed at helping families experiencing homelessness is dealing with strained resources due to overcrowding and the early arrival of winter weather in the region.
During the month of October, Inn from the Cold has had to open its overflow shelter every day so far. In September the facility assisted its most families since 2015.
“We are funded for 20 families, we have capacity for 27, [but] we’re seeing 35, 40 families,” Amanda St. Laurent, the shelter’s programming director, said in a recent interview.
“I believe our highest number might have been 45 families in a night.”
Adding to a crowded facility is a lack of resources, due to the early arrival of cold, snowy weather in the Calgary region. Ramon Ilagan, the group’s donations receiver, said the shelter is in desperate need of appropriate clothing.
“We’re very low right now. We’re badly in need of winter clothing right now,” said Ilagan.
“It’s a weird season we had this year as the winter bypassed the fall season.”
The shelter is currently asking the public for winter boots, as well as jackets for both kids and adults. They also need adult shoes.
Nearby at the Mustard Seed, officials said they too saw an increased demand when the weather turned. They are also looking for winter gear and clothing.
The shelters are hoping to restock their inventory, as more people are expected to need their services in the near future.
“People keep coming in, but people aren’t moving out,” St. Laurent said.
“We’re anticipating even higher numbers in sort of the coming weeks.”
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