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Saint Lawrence Centre to run winter drop-in shelter this year

There will be a place for the homeless in Grande Prairie to go this winter. After months of uncertainty, Saint Lawrence Centre Project Lead Jared Gossen says he will run a day time drop-in shelter this winter.

“It’s looking like we can plan to have a backup of the Saint Lawrence Centre returning to partner with the Rotary House and provide the drop-in services at our old location at least for the winter months.”

The shelter originally opened at Rotary House in 2015 but closed its doors at the end of March to give the overnight shelter some time to sort out overcrowding issued. Two months later it decided to find a new location which has been a little bit of a battle.

A possible new home was found but due to push back from potential neighbours in June that fell through. Now Gossen says he has a potential new location in the works but until things are finalized he feels better about having Rotary House as a plan B.

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“It’s been a huge weight off our shoulders because really we’ve been staring down the barrel of snow and wintertime coming and now although we’re not able to share all the details we’ve got a couple of really solid options for making sure people will be taken care of during the day time through this winter.”

The centre has cut its annual $300,000 operating budget for the year in half in order to run the shelter just over the winter months. Because of that, Gossen says the centre is looking for donations and any little bit helps.

“Any donation that they make big or small really does effect the grassroots of the homeless community here in alleviating the effects of poverty and the struggle to survive especially in the cold winter months.”

Donations can be made via the centre’s website.

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