The frigidly cold weather has some homeless shelter operating at capacity, but it doesn’t mean all beds are full in Regina.
Souls Harbour Rescue Mission has room for 16 people with 12 beds and four cots and either 15 or all 16 beds have been full on the coldest nights this week.
Deana Struble, the marketing manager with Souls Harbour, said higher demand is normal when the temperature drops.
“We don’t want to see anyone out on the street when it’s this cold, it’s very dangerous for them to be out in these elements,” Struble said.
Along with a place to stay, Soul’s Harbour provides people with a daily meal at 5 p.m. Donated clothing and blankets are available in the free clothing store. Struble noted there is always a big need for donations of warm winter clothing including winter boots and bedding.
“If we don’t have a bed for them we can sure supply them with warm blankets and stuff, if they need to hit somebody’s couch or something like that, then we’re able to give them those things,” Struble said.
Souls Harbour is moving into a new facility which will allow the shelter to increase its capacity to 24 beds.
The Salvation Army’s Waterston Centre still had beds available during the cold nights over the weekend.
YWCA Regina said the women’s shelters run at capacity most of the year regardless of the weather, but do see an increase in a demand during colder weather.
Alexis Losie, senior director of operations for YWCA Regina, said the shelter had to find alternate programming for 146 women and 52 children in January.
“We have to connect them with other supports such as refer them to Mobile Crisis or refer them to other shelters in the city,” Losie said.
The Mobile Crisis website provides a list showing shelters with available beds in the city.