The Saint Lawrence Centre has reopened at Rotary House. After being closed for the last five months, day shelter services started back up again on September 4th. Project Lead Jared Gossen says they were going to open in October but are running ahead of schedule.
“There were some coordinated services through the City of Grande Prairie and we were part of those conversations about how we can reduce some of the social disorder that’s going on in the city right now and opening the Saint Lawrence Centre in September was part of that.”
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 issues. Two months later it decided to find a new, more permanent location and Gossen says they are still looking.
Recently, the city decided to dismantle tent city in front of Rotary House and move some of the residents to a temporary secure encampment between City Hall and the night time shelter until October.
Gossen hopes that by getting the daytime shelter up and running again it might slowly lower the number of people who feel they don’t have a place to go during the day.
“We’re hoping with the daytime services open, some of the folks can get used to using the shelter again and reduce those numbers of people sleeping rough when the see the benefit of being able to use the shelter any time of the day.”
Things like washrooms, showers, coffee and snacks and computers are available to those in need with laundry facilities open to people using the Rotary House’s services. The day shelter will be open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.