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Men’s shelter prepping for cold weather

The Lloydminster Men’s Shelter has received some donations of warm clothing as the first extreme cold warning of the season has descended on the Border City.

Valerie Lazicki executive director says while they have 28 beds they are looking at overflow options particularly to offer services to women as well.

“Like a nice big building for us to move into, so we can more suitably support the people in need. I think that would be at the top of my shopping list.”

With increased service options, Lazicki says they are also looking at hiring more staff and interested persons can send in their resumes.

The shelter has check-in from 5-10 p.m. and clients benefit from a hot meal, shower, laundry and somewhere warm to sleep. The clients are given a breakfast bag the following day. Lazicki says the men have been busy shoveling the dump of snow which has come in mere days since Halloween.

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Lazicki underlines the ongoing need to provide shelter.

“The homelessness in Lloydminster is not going away. We do need our community to step in and help support us in just making sure that we can manage to provide appropriate supports for people in a dignified and respectful manner.”

The men’s shelter formally known as the Lloydminster Social Action Coalition Society was in winner’s row at the recent Lloydminster Chamber Awards taking the trophy for non-profit of the year. The group is relishing the honour with grateful pride, even as Lazicki says that “the needs are off the chart.”

Michael Davison with the social action group echoes the increased demand for their work as he looks at the next steps.

“We realize that to fully serve the people that we help, we need more space – and that’s part of some of the initiatives that we are driving internally right now, to get ready to bring forward to the community, saying we see this need. Here’s the work that we have done over the last several years and we would like your support in helping us find a new space.”

The need to stay warm especially for the homeless will remain a constant over the winter months. Environment Canada has forecast the wind chill to fall to -36 by Thursday morning.

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