La Ronge’s most vulnerable will have a warm place to sleep this winter as the Extended Hours Program is set to begin tomorrow (Nov. 2) night.
“We do have a lot of homeless people and they need somewhere warm to stay,” program coordinator Gloria Burns said. “In the past, there has been people freezing to death because they had nowhere to go.”
Operated out of the same building as the Scattered Site Outreach Program, Burns said the organization has enough cots to accommodate 12 people on any given night. She noted many people in the tri-communities use the service, adding there are three residents she already knows of who will become clients of the program when it starts tomorrow. The program runs from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. and it’s meant to operate consecutively with Scattered Site’s hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A fundraiser to purchase 12 new cots for the Extended Hours Program was also recently competed with nearly $1,600 raised. Those who donated to the cause included Trudy Connor and James Irvine, Tina Roberts, Cathy Wheaton, Aurora Communications, Northway Janitorial and The United Church. Burns noted the program will employ eight to 10 before it ends March 31.
Meanwhile, community outreach worker Modeste McKenzie said Scattered Site continues to be a busy place where staff provide services to those with mental health issues and addictions on the street level. On average, 120 clients are assisted by the program every year and McKenzie noted sometimes up to 55 people show up for lunch. Since 2014, he added Scattered Site provides 10,000 meals every year.
“A lot of what we get is donated,” McKenzie said. “Anything people can spare is appreciated and it can be put to good use.”
Scattered Site is currently in need of donations including winter coats, boots, gloves and mitts. Other items also needed include vegetables, meat, canned/dry foods and feminine hygiene products.
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