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Temporary shelter in use, can still use volunteers


A local temporary homeless shelter is currently in use with people accessing its services in the past month, says a shelter committee member.

Ellen Margeson of the First Baptist Temporary Homeless Shelter said Wednesday that volunteers are always needed to help cover the evening shifts, but there was a good response to a recent media blitz asking for people to volunteer.

“We can always use more volunteers,” she said. “I trained two more people today.

The shelter is open seven days a week from 9:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. There are two shifts an evening and two people on each shift. The shift times run from 9:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The first shift involves bringing the clients in and providing them with a meal and monitoring until the second shift is one duty. Its responsibilities include monitoring until breakfast is served after which the shelter is closed.

There is also a set-up time associated with the first shift that takes about a half-hour and includes putting the beds out. Men and women are housed in separate areas with separate washrooms for nine people total. There is a security camera on site and the shelter has a good partnership with the New Glasgow Regional Police.

Margeson said so far they have not had more than one person at a time use the shelter, but some people have returned for more than one visit.

“The way we see it is that it is an emergency shelter and, like any emergency facility, you are there for those needing it, but you hope no one really needs the service,” she said.

The temporary shelter is also accepting monetary donations that can be dropped off at the First United Baptist Church office.

Any surplus supplies or monetary donations will be passed on to Viola’s Place Society, which is currently raising money to purchase the former Life Shelter to open as a permanent shelter.

Anyone willing to volunteer at First Baptist’s temporary homeless shelter is asked to contact Ellen Margeson at Volunteers must be 19 years of age or older.

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