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Community offers overwhelming support for Truro homeless shelter


TRURO - A large response to a plea for help has resulted in a winter homeless shelter in Truro being extended to every night of the week.

Truro's Tillie Armstrong is thrilled with the number of people who have come forward to volunteer with the Out of the Cold winter homeless shelter program.

The Truro Daily News published a story last week on Out of the Cold, a temporary, winter homeless shelter. Immanuel Baptist and First United churches are joining efforts to offer the service and the shelter opened Wednesday. It was initially expected to operate four nights a week until the end of March from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. at First United.

Last week, volunteer co-ordinators urged the community to come forward because without more help the initiative would be limited. About 100 people responded and the Truro and Area Newcomers Club donated more than $250.

"We couldn't believe the number of people who came (forward)," said Tillie Armstrong, co-ordinator for the First United Church volunteers. "We really, really appreciate it. And there are people calling about it this week as well."

Two new co-ordinators also offered to aid the cause, which

helped extend the shelter from four to seven nights a week.

Armstrong also confirmed there were three clients who made use of the shelter Wednesday and Thursday night.

"One said it was the best shelter they've been in ... we had lots of foods and made them feel comfortable," Armstrong said.

The shelter offers a cot to sleep on, a hot meal and breakfast, packed lunch, toiletries, a few games and the opporunity to talk, if requested.

Anyone else interested in helping can call First United Church at 895-8098. It's difficult to fill the later shift (12:45 to 7 a.m.), said Armstrong, and if a few more people volunteered to man that shift, those doing it would have fewer shifts a month.

"It's usually a very quiet shift ... they mostly sleep. You help give breakfast and clean up."

Assistance is also required for Christmas Eve and Boxing Day night.

Anyone wishing to volunteer should pick up a police check form at the church. With that form, Truro police will do the background check for free.

 

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