The street in front of Boyle Street Co-op is teeming with people, and inside is no exception.
The co-op offers numerous programs and services from housing to mental health services, and a harm reduction program, which deals with addictions.
“Last year we worked with about 8,000 people, 75 per cent roughly were aboriginal or of aboriginal descent,” said Lance Beswick, head of communications and media relations for Boyle Street Co-op.
Boyle Street also offers a drop in, open every day of the week from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The hours of the drop-in stretch in the wintertime to cover 15 hours a day to accommodate the large influx of individuals using the co-op. The co-op has a staff of around 125 employees.
“The last winter period for example, we provided 152,000 meals or 78,000 visits. A lot people, a lot of food, we’re extremely busy,” said Beswick.
Also running yesterday was a small craft circle, where five women sat together patiently threading needles and getting to know one another.
With countless services provided by the co-op, it’s an important resource for individuals in need in Edmonton.