New Glasgow shelter ramping up as colder weather approaches

John Brannen
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NEW GLASGOW – The scriptures state that only by seeking can you find. That’s exactly what Pastor Keith Hazzard is doing.

Pastor Keith Hazzard of the LifeCentre said the shelter is looking for volunteers as the winter season approaches. The LifeShelter is hosting an information session on two upcoming dates for potential volunteers on Sept. 19 and Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the LifeCentre. JOHN BRANNEN – THE NEWS

Hazzard, of the LifeCentre in New Glasgow, is looking for volunteers to help out at the LifeCafé and LifeShelter Emergency Winter Shelter as summer turns to fall and the weather gets cooler.

According to Hazzard, the dedicated volunteers who worked for six to seven months were in need of a break. 

“Maybe if we had hired staff we could keep the shelter opened during the summers,” he said. “By the time April rolls around, they’re ready for a break.” 

The LifeShelter is hosting an information session on two upcoming dates for potential volunteers on Sept. 19 and Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

After the summer, Hazzard said there’s a period of taking stock since former volunteers may have moved away or are no longer able to commit.

The LifeShelter is open every evening and to ensure this, volunteers are required. 

“The more we have, the better, and we’ve had some terrific volunteers,” Hazzard said. 

He noted that hours for volunteers are very flexible and that Hazzard’s scheduling team is good at getting working people in who are only available at certain times. 

“We even have situations where people have a flexible schedule and can’t commit to a certain time, but can be on call.”

All volunteers go through an orientation process and training process, including the New Glasgow Regional Police Service. 

Last year, the shelter saw multiple visits from at least 25 different individuals. Hazzard said those who use the shelter come from all walks of life.

“You’d be surprised. People came in due to addictions, marital breakdowns and other situations at home,” he said.

He told one story of an individual who was living the Pictou County dream, with a big house and two cars in the driveway. In the span of six months it was gone. 

The Life Shelter works to pair up individuals in need with various agencies, services or housing. 

Some plans for the upcoming season are to potentially insulate the shelter portion of the church even more to help keep heating costs down.

The LifeShelter Emergency Winter Shelter is planning to open its doors for the 2013-14 season on Oct. 15. There are evening and overnight shifts available for those interested in volunteering. 

“If you have some time to give, and would like to make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community, you should check us out,” said Hazzard. 

If you are interested in supporting the LifeShelter, you can do so online at www.lifeshelter.ca or by calling 752-1827.

 

john.brannen@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn

Organizations: New Glasgow Regional Police Service

Geographic location: New Glasgow, Pictou County

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