Youth Winter Inn back for another season

Emergency shelter open until the end of March

When the weather turns cold and people are forced indoors Red Deer organizations do their best to keep the homeless safe and warm.

Included in these organizations is the Youth Winter Inn, which focuses on keeping youth who are homeless, at risk or involved in drugs and alcohol off the streets when temperatures dip below zero.

The Youth Winter Inn aims to help people ages 14-17 and provides a basic emergency shelter.

“The majority of the kids that we see are the ones that have some addiction issues,” said Rose Hatfield with the Youth and Volunteer Centre of Red Deer.

This is the third year that the program has run and they opened their doors Dec. 15th to begin helping those youth off the streets.

The shelter doesn’t just house the youth temporarily and then let them back out without help. They provide referrals and support through a support worker to the youth to try to get them on their feet again.

“We try to refer them to other resources and give them the extra support to help them follow through. We can’t force them to go anywhere but we can support them when they’re ready,” said Hatfield.

The Youth Winter Inn has helped 88 youth to date with a safe and warm housing option during the winter.

Hatfield said this year has been off to a slow start in part because of the good weather the City has seen but also because funding came through later than usual for the shelter.

The Youth Winter Inn also tries to provide the youth with a snack like juice or a hot soup or granola bars but Hatfield said they can only provide what they have available. “We can always use donations including socks and mittens and winter coats. Juice and non-perishable food items are good too.”

Hatfield said the youth the shelter sees are very appreciative of anything they can get because they usually only have what is on their backs.

“Red Deer as a community over the last couple of years has really become more aware of youth homelessness being an issue.”

Hatfield said the community’s acceptance and better understanding of the issues surrounding youth homelessness have been a huge help in garnering funding for the year as well as finding a solution.

“People now want to be part of the solution. It’s not something you want to push under the rug anymore because we really do have kids out there looking for help. The Youth Winter Inn came about to give these kids a safe choice.”

The Youth Winter Inn is located at 4633 49th St. at the Red Deer Youth and Volunteer Centre’s back entrance. They are available to youth from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. seven days a week until March 31st.

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public this week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Most Read