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Homeless shelter seeks help

By: Judy Peters

Posted: 01/30/2014 10:00 AM

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Changes are happening at the homeless shelter in Steinbach and it means community volunteers are needed to help out. Today House has been operating in the city now for over a year and a number of guests have stayed at the emergency shelter.

It started with operational hours during the week and house parents looked after the guests during the evenings and overnight. The shelter was closed during weekends to allow the house parents some down time.

After a while, the board of directors recognized the need for emergency shelter access on weekends. They started looking at different options, trying to meet the needs as best they can while operating within their budget.

Starting in December 2013, the shelter was open seven nights a week. That change was part of a larger restructuring process which saw the elimination of house parents and the hiring of a half-time coordinator. Shannon Kehler looks after the upkeep of the house while managing volunteers.

While a lot of people have stepped up to volunteer for cleaning and cooking jobs, there remains a big need for people to volunteer their time at the shelter while guests are using the accommodations.

"Now we are able to help some weekend guests and it’s working well," said chair person Simone Penner. "We just need volunteers."

For more information on the volunteer opportunities at Today House, visit their website (www.todayhouse.ca) or contact the shelter at 204-371-6989.

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