Lloydminster residents without a home or any place to stay are being welcomed to the drop-in centre. Manager Riley Gilroyed says they’ve continued running through the pandemic and helping out visitors in any way they can.
“It’s essential to be open and operational especially in circumstances such as the economy or the pandemic are present. They don’t discriminate and people still have basic needs to be met such as housing and income so we think that it’s essential that those individuals are supported during those times.”
The drop-in centre implemented enhanced cleaning and promoted social distancing and proper hygienic practices. Gilroyed says they requested some of their older volunteers and those with pre-existing health conditions to stay at home during the pandemic. He mentions they haven’t been short staffed as some community members stepped up to help fill in those positions.
The centre has seen fewer visitors during the pandemic as provincial guidelines recommended those who do have a housing available to them during the day should stay in their homes.
“We’re thankful for that because we certainly don’t want to become a centre or place where disease could either come or be spread.”
The centre is also connecting their visitors with social programs through a collaboration with Residents In Recovery. Visitors would be able to attend their programs through Zoom meetings by accessing one of the computers at the centre.
Gilroyed says the community has been overwhelmingly supportive with donations which included food, clothing and computers.
“We’re currently working on creating a library for people to sign out resources and have education at their disposal. We also have clothing available. The community has been absolutely huge in donating to the point that we have so much that we have to spread it among different agencies as well.”
The centre will continue to run in the summer and provide help and resources to those in need.