Melissa Gauvreau, shift lead at the Warming Centre, cleans tables at the centre in preparation for Wednesday’s opening. (Photo by Susan Zielinski/Advocate staff)

Safe Harbour helps people escape the cold

Red Deer agency providing the first step in addictions treatment

Safe Harbour Society’s Warming Centre has seen an average of 60 people needing somewhere to go during the day as temperatures remain dangerously cold.

The seasonal centre operates daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in two shipping containers at 5256 53rd Ave. in Safe Harbour’s parking lot. Since earlier this month the centre has also been able to reopen at 8 p.m. to add 20 more spaces to the society’s mat program so more people who are intoxicated or high have a place to sleep this winter.

Executive director Kath Hoffman said so far the centre has only needed to be open overnight a few times.

“We’ve got lots of room for anyone who needs it. Typically numbers go down a little bit when it’s this cold. That’s usually the result of people letting people stay in their homes longer because it’s so cold. Also with Christmas our numbers go down,” Hoffman said.

She said providing an escape from the cold is part of the continuum of care for those with addictions.

“Everybody talks about the need for treatment but they don’t see that these emergency services are part of that treatment scope. These are just those critical first steps.

“Just like safe consumption sites, it’s like an emergency treatment response. It’s connecting them to those health resources.”

She said the public may not see it at treatment, but for those suffering from addiction, in their world, it is treatment.

Hoffman said staff are seeing a lot of new faces.

“That’s the result of the opioid crisis we’re in. The majority of the people that are new are on average between 25 and 35 years old. They’re not necessarily new to Red Deer, they’re new to the harbour.”

If people want to help, donations of gloves would be appreciated. Gloves are preferred to bulky mitts so people don’t have to take them off when they need to use their hands outside. Snacks that can be eaten on the go would also be welcome, she said.

“We’re desperate for gloves. We’ve got lots of everything else, but we need gloves.”

Donations can be dropped off at Safe Harbour’s main office between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Wildfire that threatened Alberta communities was arson: RCMP, province

EDMONTON — A wildfire that threatened remote communities in north-central Alberta and… Continue reading

Fatal vehicle crash reported near Rimbey

Multiple vehicles involved

Ukraine’s president urges lawmakers to take polygraph test

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s president on Wednesday urged a group of lawmakers… Continue reading

Rogers Communications reports $593M third-quarter profit, cuts revenue guidance

TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc. cut its financial guidance as it reported… Continue reading

Mock federal election for students also ends in Liberal minority

If Canada’s elementary and high school students were the ones responsible for… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday The Small Business Centre at Burman University’s School of Business invites… Continue reading

Very complex: Nats, Astros share spring site, meet in Series

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Asked how his Washington Nationals figured out… Continue reading

Canada’s Milos Raonic loses to Korea’s Hyeon Chung in return from injury

VIENNA — Milos Raonic’s first tour match in more than two months… Continue reading

Loughlin, 10 other parents charged anew in college scandal

BOSTON — “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo… Continue reading

Louvre exhibit acclaims Da Vinci, 500 years after his death

PARIS — Much about Leonardo Da Vinci remains an enigma: the smile… Continue reading

Trudeau must keep promise to support the West, Kenney and Moe say

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to support the West should be more… Continue reading

Nationals get best of Gerrit Cole, beat Astros in World Series Game 1

Nationals 5 Astros 4 HOUSTON —The first game of any World Series… Continue reading

Carlson scores twice for Washington Capitals in 5-3 win over Calgary Flames

Capitals 5 Flames 3 CALGARY — Defenceman John Carlson’s two goals paced… Continue reading

Most Read