More people especially seniors are requesting emergency shelter in Belleville and Quinte News has learned a large number are being turned away because the housing isn’t available.
Executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Hastings-Prince Edward Branch, Sandie Sidsworth says in 2015 they were unable to offer housing to 800 of the 1000 people who needed shelter – that’s up from the 600 people that were turned away out of 800 requests in 2014.
Sidsworth says while they always work with a great group of community partners like the Red Cross to try and find housing for those in need the numbers are still staggering.
But what’s scary says Sidsworth, is the 40 per cent increase in shelter requests from seniors.
Sidsworth says while they always work with a great group of community partners like the Red Cross to try and find housing for those in need but when she sees people within our society in their 70s looking for housing, “we’re missing something in our society.”
Sidsworth says Kelly Oribine one of the founding members behind the Grace Inn will be speaking at this year’s Sleep Out, So Others Can Sleep In event.
Now in its ninth year the event is aimed at raising poverty awareness and $10,000 for transitional housing.
Sidsworth says while it looks like it will be one of the milder events with temperatures around the minus 7 mark, it’s still going to be bone chilling cold.
She says for the people who come out again and again every year, it just blows her mind.
Everyone is invited to gather at Market Square at 7 p.m., where they can assemble homemade shelters, with cardboard boxes.
It runs until 7 a.m.
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