La Nina, Trail’s temporary homeless shelter, reports a busier first month than last year.
Since Nov. 19, outreach workers from Career Development Services (CDS) have set up beds nightly in the basement of the Trail United Church.
“The stats for November are that six of the 12 nights, there was someone utilizing the supports at the shelter,” said Sheila Adcock, CDS coordinator of the project.
“Last year, we saw a bit slower start for the first couple of weeks.”
During the first few weeks of December, the shelter housed 16 individuals over 12 nights, and last week it housed one person each night.
“The word is out for sure, individuals in need are finding us,” Adcock said.
Although the location and times that the shelter space is open seem to be working, solutions to where the person can go during the day continues to be a dilemma for some of the nightly occupants.
Individuals who use the shelter due to circumstance, such as being in town for court, or heading to treatment and wanting a safe and sober place, must leave the shelter early in the morning, and wait until it opens again at 9 p.m.
“We are still working on a solution to ‘where to go while you wait for it to open’ problem,” she said.
On a more positive note, all of the individuals who have stayed at the shelter, while looking for housing in the community, have found it.
“Our ‘Getting to Home’ project has outreach workers follow up with those who are homeless, but looking for housing,” explained Adcock.
“We’ve been able to find each person housing, and supports to keep it.”
This year, blankets and warm coats for the shelter occupants are being supplied by the thrift store that is next door to and run by the CDS.
However, the shelter is asking for donations of warm socks and slippers.
“Individuals usually show up with wet feet and no socks, so donations would be appreciated to keep their feet warm and dry during the night,” said Adcock.
The food bank in the basement of the church helps to provide staples to the needy, but donations to purchase food for shelter occupants is always needed.
Those interested in donating to the shelter can do so by leaving a message at the United Church at 368-3225.