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Kinsmen being used as expanded overnight shelter for Edmonton homeless

Kinsmen being used as expanded overnight shelter for Edmonton homeless
​WATCH ABOVE: Recreation centres in Edmonton have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but at least one has found new purpose. Morgan Black explains how the Kinsmen Sports Centre has been adapted to aid the growing needs of Edmonton's most vulnerable.

Kinsmen Sports Centre — which, along with all rec centres, is closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — is being used as an overnight shelter for Edmonton’s most vulnerable.

READ MORE: Edmonton social agencies preparing as coronavirus cases climb

The Mustard Seed south Edmonton Emergency Shelter used financial support from the province to move from Whyte Avenue to Kinsmen, where it can expand from 40 sleeping mats to 180 sleeping mats.

The facility will be open for people sleeping rough — who are not symptomatic of COVID-19 — from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. seven days a week.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Kenney says Edmonton Expo Centre will be used for vulnerable population

“With this pandemic and recent economic shift, we expect more people coming through our doors seeking shelter and services,” said Dean Kurpjuweit, executive director of The Mustard Seed.

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“We are so grateful to have been given the resources to help our most vulnerable — to provide them a safe environment where they can come in from the cold.”

READ MORE: Edmonton EXPO Centre homeless shelter to have drop-in, COVID-19 health care services

The organization said the space will allow it to shelter 180 people “while also practicing social distancing and implementing proper health protocols put forth by Alberta Health Services.”

READ MORE: Edmonton mayor pushes ‘province to make a decision now’ to help vulnerable population amid COVID-19 pandemic

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The Mustard Seed is also asking Edmontonians for their help covering the start-up costs not covered by the government grant.

“A donation of just $35 covers one night’s stay at our shelter,” Kurpjuweit said.

“Thirty-five dollars not only provides someone in need with a mat, clean bedding and breakfast, but it also gives them a sense of security during a time of such uncertainty.”

To donate to The Mustard Seed’s Kinsmen Shelter, click here.

The Mustard Seed prepares an expanded overnight shelter using the Kinsmen Sports Centre. March 26, 2020.
The Mustard Seed prepares an expanded overnight shelter using the Kinsmen Sports Centre. March 26, 2020. Julien Fournier, Global News
The Mustard Seed prepares an expanded overnight shelter using the Kinsmen Sports Centre. March 26, 2020.
The Mustard Seed prepares an expanded overnight shelter using the Kinsmen Sports Centre. March 26, 2020. Julien Fournier, Global News