The Inn is open and full

The first night Inn from the Cold opened its doors for the season all of the beds were being used.

And if this year is anything like the last, it’s going to be a full house every night.

Jan Schulz, executive director of the low barrier shelter, says staff had to turn people away last winter as there was no room at the inn.

“Our organization and others in the city say that the population seems to be increasing. So we feel we will have a very busy season.”

Inn from the Cold is the last stop someone would have to make before sleeping on the streets during the cold nights.

“We accept and welcome guests who aren’t necessarily able to access other shelters or locations in the city,” explained Shultz.

The low barrier shelter tries to work on a referral system, to ensure the beds are used by those most in need or most marginalized in the city.  

Those who arrive after referrals are filled up are able to sleep in the shelter, however the 35 beds fill up fast.

“The beds are for predominantly men but we do have female accommodation,” Shultz said. “We have pets that are also here right next to their owner in their beds, we also accept couples, transgender people and other adult families.”

Those who use the low barrier shelter vary from guests who stay each night, to working individuals.

Inn from the Cold relies heavily on volunteers to help make the season a success.

“All told we have in the region of 200 volunteers who sign up for one or many, many shifts.”

Guests who use the shelter must check-in between 7 and 8 p.m., they are fed dinner and a breakfast the following day.

Inn from the Cold is a non-profit organization funded 16 per cent by the government and the rest by donations.

Those looking to help the shelter can do so by clicking here.

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