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Out of the Cold program closures in Waterloo region

Here is an interview from the August 21st edition of the Daily GRRR! with Brayden, an organiser with Alliance Against Poverty, an anti-poverty group based in Kitchener. Brayden will talk about the recent loss of Out of the Cold sites as now four host sites have backed out of the program. Out of the Cold is a seasonal program that provides shelter and food, relying on a different location and its volunteers each night of the week.

Four sites have now stepped back from the Out of the Cold project, which provides food and shelter to those in need during the cold months of the year. Yesterday, Waterloo region announced that it will not seek new sites to host the program. The latest site to remove itself is St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, which had functioned as an overflow space when the other shelters were full.

Trinity United Church, which was the previous site to leave the program, stated that after 15 years of involvement they sought a change of direction, citing the region's homelessness to housing strategy. Another church, St. John's Lutheran, cited safety concerns stemming from addiction and mental health issues that untrained volunteers are met with as their reason for dropping the program. They also indicated the need for sustainable housing solutions, noting that Out of the Cold is not a permanent solution to homelessness.

The region has suggested that there are enough shelter beds to provide the service, those involved with Out of the Cold argue that many homeless people do not use those shelters, preferring other programs including Out of the Cold. There are now three nights of the week without an Out of the Cold program running. 

This interview was first played on August 21st, 2014 edition of The Daily GRRR!  The interview was undertaken by host Rachel Avery. The #DailyGRRR! is on every day weekday from 9-10 a.m. on 100.3 CKMS in Waterloo region, soundfm.ca on the web.  Check out all out work at http://grandrivermc.ca

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