A temporary measure to support those in need will be ready as of Jan. 31.
Volunteers organized by the Ponoka Housing and Homelessness Committee will be running an overnight shelter in the old building at Ponoka’s First Baptist Church after months of organizing and work needed in order to make a suitable space available.
The shelter will have space for six people along with some simple snacks and drinks. Intake — through the door located on the east side of the brick building along 57 Ave. — will be done nightly from 9 to 11 p.m. with clients woken up at 6 a.m. as the space closes an hour later.
“The plan is to be open every night, depending on the availability of our volunteers,” said committee member Lisa Hagemann.
“So far, it looks really good for the month of February.”
The shelter is simply a place for someone that needs a bed for the night, she added, as people will not be allowed back in during the night if they decide to leave.
As well, the clients will be handed a package in the morning that will contain some items to help them out. This includes a voucher for a shower (one per week) at the Aquaplex, gift cards and other essentials.
It took a bit longer for the shelter to open than planned as the building needed a few alterations in order to get the space ready.
A wall needed to be built in order to separate the space from other portions of the building still in use by the church and some lockable doors on some closets needed to be installed, since these will be used to store client’s items during their stay.
Anyone wishing to help out by volunteering or wanting to make a donation — whether cash, in-kind or items like warm socks and gift cards — are asked to send an email to email@example.com or reach out via the Ponoka Housing/Homeless Facebook page.