Sleeping mats woven from plastic bags will help provide some protection against the elements for homeless Red Deerians this winter.
Recently the harm reduction agency Turning Point received about 20 mats hand-made mats by members of the Innisfail Senior Drop-In Society.
Mitchell Danser, Turning Point communications and community engagement co-ordinator, said it’s the second time the group has donated mats. Clients appreciate that they are light-weight and easy to carry.
“They have a strap on them so when they roll up they are like a yoga mat with a strap across them,” Danser said.
He said Turning Point and Safe Harbour often deal with the same clients, and since Safe Harbour’s temporary downtown homeless shelter has to close in September, the mats will come in handy during the winter.
“I’m hoping we can hang on to these until the end of September. But if someone needs them right now, then we’ll donate.
“Is it the warmest? Probably not. But it’s the plastic material that will hopefully keep the heat in. If there’s anything on the ground they will prevent it leaking through.”
Innisfail-area seniors started making mats last winter during the pandemic and wanted to donate them to a good cause. To date they have donated about 30 mats to Turning Point, and hope to deliver more next month.
Danser said the mats are mostly made from the plastic bags used to store vehicle tires because the bags are larger and thicker. Grocery bags can be used, but they are not as durable and it takes longer to make mats with the shorter strips of plastic.
Anyone interested in donating bags is asked to contact Turning Point.