Sup­port cen­tre has an ur­gent need for boots and gloves

Metro Canada (Edmonton) - - Front Page - Kevin maimann Metro | ed­mon­ton

Two in­ner-city Ed­mon­ton or­ga­ni­za­tions are part­ner­ing in a plea for do­na­tions as win­ter set­tles in.

“I do be­lieve all my friends need help,” said Eric Le­feb­vre, who uses Mus­tard Seed’s ser­vices and also vol­un­teers there.

Mus­tard Seed and the Bis­sell Cen­tre have been shar­ing dropin space since Oc­to­ber, when the Bis­sell be­gan ren­o­va­tions, and both or­ga­ni­za­tions say they are low on win­ter cloth­ing do­na­tions. Le­feb­vre said the de­mand for warm clothes has created an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

“Th­ese peo­ple could freeze,” he said. “Peo­ple are sleep­ing in shel­ters, some­times some peo­ple are sleep­ing out­side. So it’s ter­ri­ble. A lot of peo­ple sleep at the back al­ley.”

Mus­tard Seed’s front-line su­per­vi­sor Rochelle Nieuwen­huis said the or­ga­ni­za­tion is es­pe­cially low on mit­tens and gloves.

“Ev­ery time some­one brings in a bag, it’s used up within the day,” she said. “It’s re­ally hard in the be­gin­ning of the win­ter sea­son to have enough stuff for peo­ple.”

Di­rec­tor of pro­grams Kris Knut­son said long un­der­wear, toques, boots, jeans and “good sweaters” are also in de­mand.

With an ad­di­tional 200 peo­ple shar­ing Mus­tard Seed’s space ev­ery day while Bis­sell ren­o­vates, Knut­son said they’re also run­ning low on hot bev­er­ages.

“One of the re­sources that’s be­ing stretched is our need for cof­fee and cof­fee sup­plies,” he said. “We prob­a­bly serve over 1,000 cups of cof­fee a day at that lo­ca­tion. We’re go­ing through a lot of cof­fee be­tween the both of us.” Bis­sell Cen­tre spokesper­son Dar­ren Bren­nan said he has seen an in­flux of do­na­tions but is still short on boots and warm gloves.

“We are get­ting a plethora of jack­ets and toques and socks and other warm cloth­ing items, which is great. But it’s the gloves and the boots that go the fastest,” Bren­nan said.

He said hun­dreds of pairs of gloves were handed out dur­ing the sea­son’s first snow­fall, and most of the 200 peo­ple who come through the cen­tre ev­ery day need gloves and boots. “Right now we are crit­i­cally low,” he said.

The Bis­sell Cen­tre is sched­uled to fully re-open with ad­di­tional ser­vices in late Fe­bru­ary 2018.

it’s re­ally hard in the be­gin­ning of the win­ter sea­son to have enough stuff for peo­ple. Rochelle Nieuwen­huis


Mus­tard Seed’s front-line su­per­vi­sor Rochelle Nieuwen­huis is hop­ing for more do­na­tions.

KeviN TuoNg/FoR MeTRo

eric Le­feb­vre is hop­ing for more do­na­tions at the mus­tard Seed Com­mu­nity Sup­port Cen­tre.

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