Steinbach's Today House, which provides emergency shelter to people needing a safe place to sleep, has switched from a volunteer system to a house-parent system.
Today House Board Chairperson, Simone Penner says with the volunteer system, they were finding gaps where they didn't have enough volunteers to accommodate all the overnight shifts needed. “We didn't seem to quite have enough volunteer night shifts filled in a month, as much as our volunteers were amazing, and did the very best they could, there were still some gaps in our system. ”
When that happened, Penner says clients would be put up in hotels. “Our hotels stays were not a lot, but they were still there, which was kind of sad that the house sat empty when we had to put someone in a hotel. But at least we
could accommodate them and at least they weren't out on the street.”
Penner adds that as of March 1, Today House has full-time, live-in “house parents”, which will hopefully accommodate more clients and cut down on hotel stays. “We can accommodate four adults or a family of four at a time. Once the guests arrive between five and nine in the evening, the house parents feed them, make sure their laundry is clean, we have a little storage room where they can pick some new clothes if they need to. And in the morning they are offered breakfast, and if they need a lunch for the day, that is offered to them too.”
Penner says all the people that work at Today House truly care about the clients. It's this nurturing, loving environment that is a special touch for people who have had to endure dangerous and uncomfortable situations. At Today House they have a safe place to rest, feel valued and be cared for.
Penner sincerely thanks all the Today House volunteers, as well as all not-for-profit volunteers. “It's huge, it's beautiful – thank you!”
For more information, visit the Today House website.