Have a look at this update from Alliston Out of the Cold and consider how you might be able to help out. THANK YOU!!
Alliston Out of the Cold is struggling to get enough volunteers this year due to fears of COVID, as well, many younger people are home schooling their children. We currently have about ½ our regular number of volunteers confirmed. We have decided to delay our opening until mid November or the 1st of December in hopes of recruiting more volunteers. We are also doing a deputation to the Town of New Tecumseth for funds to help us hire an overnight staff person to decrease the number of volunteers needed.
The new COVID guidelines for social distancing have also affected the number of people we can house. We will be able to house 8 guests instead of 12 guests and we will have no ability to flex to more beds as we have in the past.
We currently only have one part time paid staff year-round, our executive director. We do hire intake staff during our operating season (Nov-April) to admit and engage guests with services to change their homeless state. The intake person is a qualified social worker or equivalent who works three hours in the evening, when guests arrive, to admit and counsel them.
We are currently struggling to have enough money to complete our year. We are at high risk of being unable to open our overnight shelter this year, which will leave many out on the street. To mediate this, we have a launched an Outreach program with one part time staff and volunteers. We have partnered with the Good Shepherd Food Bank to provide food. We have other donations of needed supplies that are given out like blankets, sleeping bags, mats, toiletries and clothing. The Outreach team is making appointments as well as mobile stops in Alliston, Tottenham and Angus right now. They are helping to connect people to services for housing, social services and employment in an attempt to get them off the street before winter.
The majority of our funds come from community donations as well this past year we participated in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser which netted us $47,000 (about half of our annual budget).
We are now taking food donations for the shelter start up. The following items are needed:
- Juice boxes
- Granola bars
- Fruit or pudding cups
- Canned meats like salmon, tuna, ham or chicken/turkey
- Ground Coffee
- Tea (regular or herbal)
- Hot Chocolate
- Pancake mix
- White Sugar
- Laundry detergent
- Fabric softener sheets
- Paper towel
- Toilet paper
- Used Blankets if good condition that are washable
- Large Garbage Bags
- Small compost bags
We also appreciate gift cards for Zehrs, FreshCo or Costco as we use these for day to day items like bread, milk, eggs, margarine, etc. These items can be brought to the church on Sunday morning or during our office hours, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
If you have clothing please donate it to the Clothes Line as we have an relationship with them and offer tickets to our guests to go in and get free clothing.