Out of the Cold Collingwood celebrating multiple milestones.
Out of the Cold Collingwood is celebrating multiple milestones in its first semi-annual report, outlining data compiled over the first two months of operations.
As of Jan. 31, 2020, seven shelter guests had found housing, and two shelter guests had found employment through the efforts of the shelter guests and support from various community agencies. This data shows that Out of the Cold Collingwood is more than just a shelter, it’s a means to sustainability.
“A lot of times, people don’t know who to call or where to go. The help is there for the broad service system. We connect people with the services that already exist to help, and utilize community donations for urgent needs such as gas cards or boots,” said Pam Hillier, executive director of Community Connection.
As part of the intake process, shelter guests are encouraged to visit Community Connection’s office to meet with a 211 Navigator for further assistance. Navigators assess their needs, explain which services and supports are most appropriate and how to use/access them. The primary connection is to the Regional Housing First office for ongoing help to locate and secure permanent housing. Navigators are currently assisting 12 of the 28 guests.
From Dec. 2 to Jan. 31, there were:
• 325 overnight stays
• 38 unique individuals who attended the shelter seeking services (28 completed the consent and intake process and accessed shelter services while 10 chose not to stay)
• 296 total meals were served
• 322 meal vouchers were distributed
• Guest ages varied between 20 and 78 years
On Feb. 4, Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell came to Collingwood. Mayor Brian Saunderson organized the lieutenant-governor’s tour of the shelter, providing OOTCC representatives an opportunity to demonstrate how the shelter operates, and explain how homelessness and poverty are connected. The lieutenant-governor was very interested to learn how the community mobilized under the leadership of community members, and was able to open with funding from the town and donations of meals, items and money from the community.
For up-to-date news on Out of the Cold Collingwood or to donate to shelter operation costs, visit their website at outofthecoldcollingwood.com.
Also, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/OutoftheColdCollingwood.