"This (shelter) gives them (families) the opportunity to not worry about where they are staying."
Imagine not knowing where your family would find shelter for the evening from night to night.
It’s a fear Diana Segboer, executive director for Inn from the Cold, believes will be significantly eased with the Inn’s announced acquisition of Centre 110 from the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre earlier this week.
Inn from the Cold helps to find temporary shelter for homeless families throughout the city.
“This gives them (families) the opportunity to not worry about where they are staying – they know that, it’s a given,” said Segboer, noting that children are often the hardest hit by the nomadic movement of their family.
“And then (parents) can start getting out of the crisis mode and getting into the issues that have brought them to the street.”
Communal areas currently used by single men transitioning back into the community at Centre 110 will eventually house between 60 and 90 family members at any one time — and Segboer said they will tailor the top and half of the second floor to be family-friendly, with kids’ areas for games and homework, and more washing machines.
Meeting rooms where parents can work with partner organizations to solve their individual issues and get out of the cycle of homelessness will also be built.
“It’s not like there is a cookie cutter approach (to helping families),” said Segboer. “You have to have the room to provide the individual services that are needed.”
Inn from the Cold has operated in the city for 10 years and assists over 300 homeless families throughout the city every year.