Bancroft now has an overnight shelter that can keep people safe and warm on these cold winter nights.
North Hastings Community Trust has opened up a room at its 19 Valley View Drive location. That’s behind the Tim Hortons, off Hwy. 28.
Executive Director Jane Kali says Community Trust is an organization that works on long-term housing solutions, but given the recent bout of extreme cold temperatures, it found a way to open its doors overnight to help those experiencing homelessness.
“We’re the closest folks to the people that need shelter at night,” she says. “We see a lot of people during the day who are homeless and we just could no longer drop people off in parks and snowbanks. It was too heart breaking. We were able to negotiate something with Hastings County that creates an overnight experience for people that is supporting by the community and is warm and, in fact, really loving.”
Kali says Community Trust intends on keeping the shelter open every night through March and possibly some of April, but it will need community support to do so. She asks people who can help to get in touch.
“We really need help,” she says. “The only way we can do this is with community support. We jumped in. We need food for night time. We need food for breakfast. We need people who want to be here and support folks and be a part of it.”
On its first night of operation, Thursday into Friday, six people stayed there.
Kali says they’re people that, otherwise, may have been outside on a night when windchill temperatures hit -40C.