New Out of the Cold shelter set to open Saturday night

Click to play video: 'Out of the Cold shelter opening at new location with increased capacity'
Out of the Cold shelter opening at new location with increased capacity
With winter on the horizon, the dangers of sleeping outside increase, which is where the Out of the Cold community association comes in to help. – Dec 8, 2020

A Halifax organization will open its winter shelter to those in need on Saturday night.

Out of the Cold is a community-based organization that operates annually to provide shelter when temperatures drop to dangerous levels. The group has been operating for several years in Halifax, but this year, they’re operating in a new space.

The new 25-bed shelter, located at 1221 Barrington St., is set to open for the season at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Michelle Malette, the executive director of the Out of the Cold Community Association, told Global News earlier this week that the new shelter will have several bedrooms.

“It’s going to allow us to have some separated space. Normally, we’ve been in a big, open room, previously,” Malette said.

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“We have a nice big kitchen, we have laundry facilities. So, we’re feeling pretty spoiled this year.”

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Funding for the new location comes partially from a 2018 federal commitment to reduce chronic homelessness through the Reaching Home initiative.

In a letter to government and policy makers, several Nova Scotia shelter operators wrote the coronavirus pandemic has intensified the housing crisis in the province.

The letter states that Nova Scotia is experiencing an “acute housing crisis” and that there are currently 500 people who are homeless in Halifax. It goes on to read that inequitable housing circumstances are experienced by high percentages of Indigenous and other racially-visible persons, along with members of the LGBTQ2 community.

Click to play video: 'The COVID-19 2nd wave is making it especially difficult for the homeless'
The COVID-19 2nd wave is making it especially difficult for the homeless

Malette said Out of the Cold supports those with “highest barriers to housing and accessing other shelters.”

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The new Barrington Street site will stay open until April, according to the organization. It will also have staff on site at all times.

If you’d like to support the Out of the Cold Community Association you can send an e-transfer donation to:

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