Shelter permit gets one-year extension

Three-hundred sighs of relief could be heard today after city council approved a permit for the Foothills Mustard Seed shelter to remain open another year.



The temporary emergency shelter opened last fall and its permit was set to expire May 1, but granted an additional one-year reprieve.



Shelter user Al LaRose, 43, was especially happy to hear the news, telling Metro the shelter is a step to a new life.

"It gives me an extended heart so I can get back on my feet," said LaRose, a paving crew worker. He said others were equally relieved.

"One woman had tears in her eyes because she gets to stay longer. This means all these people don’t have to go back downtown where the drugs, crime and alcohol is," he said.

Ward 9 Alderman Joe Ceci said even though council approved the motion, it is pending a funding agreement with the province.

But Floyd Perras, the Mustard Seed’s manager of operations, is sure that all stakeholders can come to an agreement to keep the shelter open.

"We’re very, very happy with the approval and we’re confident the shelter will remain open. This means 300 people don’t have to sleep on the streets or doorways," Perras said, noting the $4-million annual tab to run the shelter.