Home­less shel­ter fill­ing up

Christ­mas dona­tions are help­ing the cause

Truro Daily News - - COLCHESTER COUNTY - BY FRAM DINSHAW

Truro’s home­less shel­ter is start­ing to ll up as a cold Christ­mas beck­ons.

e Truro Home­less Out­reach So­ci­ety is tak­ing be­tween 16 and 18 clients per night, some of whom must sleep on fold-out cots. So far, how­ever, the shel­ter is able to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­one in its up­stairs dor­mi­to­ries.

“I feel pretty good,” said Brian Cur­rie, THOS’S oper­a­tions man­ager. “It’s bit­ter­sweet, as it’s so nice to help peo­ple, but at the same time the fact that we are here is dis­heart­en­ing. It would be nice if we weren’t needed at all.”

He said re­cent freez­ing weather and snow is mak­ing clients “ar­rive ear­lier and stay later,” but is not nec­es­sar­ily driv­ing up num­bers in new overnight stays.

To help peo­ple cope with the cold, THOS has been stay­ing open un­til 11 a.m. since last month. e shel­ter is also pro­vid­ing its usual ser­vices to clients, from so­cial-skills train­ing to re­set­tling home- less peo­ple in apart­ments.

Of those clients be­ing helped, Cur­rie said about 80 per cent are from Colch­ester County.

For those who stay the night in Truro, THOS has 16 per­ma­nent beds and an­other 12 cots. If the up­stairs sec­tion lls up, THOS can un­fold more cots on the ground level.

“Ev­ery night, we’re just bang­ing on ca­pac­ity’s door,” said Cur­rie.

How­ever, the pub­lic has ral­lied around THOS in the last few weeks be­fore Christ­mas. Cur­rie said one man dropped off 10 brand-new parkas, 10 to 15 win­ter boots and hats and mit­tens that he bought from Mark’s Ware­house.

Mean­time, a steady stream of food dona­tions is al­low­ing THOS’S vol­un­teers to pro­duce 20 to 25 lunches per day for clients seek­ing help or just some­thing to eat.

“Christ­mas dona­tions are just huge. We get a lot of din­ner stu like canned sand­wich meats,” said Cur­rie. “It’s heart­warm­ing, you see the com­mu­nity com­ing to­gether and do­ing this for peo­ple that they don’t know. is is all brand new stu .”

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