Eight to nine guests per night have been using the Stay Safe Shelter in Grand Forks, Darren Pratt of Boundary Family Services (BFS) confirmed this week, noting that around six people have been using the service during the day and overall, 21 individuals have visited the shelter since it opened in January.
The 10-bed cold weather shelter on Donaldson Drive was opened by the local non-profit on Jan. 21, after a committee of local stakeholders had met for months to come up with a solution for this winter.
“The shelter is a first step in helping people who are experiencing homelessness and who are at-risk of homelessness,” said Pratt in an email. “We connect them to health services and job opportunities in the community.”
Community group Citizens for a Better Grand Forks had requested that a Good Neighbour Agreement be drafted and agreed to, and that BFS arrange a meeting to answer neighbours’ questions. BFS has confirmed that the meeting will take place Feb. 14 at the Grand Forks Curling Rink and will run from 6 to 7 p.m, and that residents “in the immediate West End area” are invited to discuss any concerns they may have around the shelter’s operation.
Pratt said in a Feb. 10 email that “to date, the shelter has been successful and we have not had any negative feedback or complaints.”
Because all visitors to the shelter must be registered, community members who have questions or concerns about the shelter can call ahead of a visit to 236-352-0026 and book a time to meet with the staff on site.
The Stay Safe Shelter run by BFS is set to run until March 31, 2020.