The Cold Lake John Howard Society Shelter is now open for guests.
Candice Sutterfield, Cold Lake John Howard Society Shelter Board Chair says this has been a long time coming.
“The opening has been fantastic. We have had lots of traffic lots of service providers who are just curious to see what the building looks like so they can let their guests know kinda what they will be expecting.”
Sutterfield and a couple of board members have been working towards this shelter for the past 10 years.
“I am also nervous because of the change. Before our old building was a wide open space now each guest will get a room that they will share with an individual. There will be some hiccups but I am excited.”
The people the John Howard society serves will now get the chance to meet one on one with an outreach worker to help ensure success.
“The outreach workers will be able to meet the individual where they are at and help them gain independence such as taxes and IDs. Simple little things that we always take for granted. The individuals that we serve sometimes just need a helping hand.”
The facility comes with new showers and washing facilities which Sutterfield says is huge in itself.
“We have a full industrial kitchen that we didn’t have before. The kitchen we had was minimal. We also have funds this year to bring on a cook. Before our board members would cook in the evening.”
Since all the board members are volunteers Sutterfield says this will free up a lot of time.
“We were working out of a space that was not ideal. It fit the need to prevent the element of death. That was the purpose of the building to prevent our individuals from death from the elements. Now we are able to do that and one-to-one service with the outreach which is so important to move the individuals forward.”
Sutterfield says she would like to give a big thank you to the community for all the support from the community. The shelter held it’s official opening day on January 19th.