Mustard Seed expecting to reach capacity as cold continues
EDMONTON -- The first real cold snap of the season has Edmonton's homeless shelters operating at full capacity.
After a weekend of temperatures in the minus teens and twenties, Monday's high is again only expected to reach -18 C.
"Last night, if you wanted a space, there was still space for you. But certainly there's just less availably as the temperature gets colder," said Mustard Seed Edmonton's executive director Dean Kurpjuweit.
Mustard Seed offers about 420 beds between three service centres, including currently the Convention Centre and a south-side warehouse, both of which opened to homeless Edmontonians during the pandemic.
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If a participant fails a temperature screening or is displaying other symptoms, Mustard Seed staff direct them to other agencies in the city which offer self-isolation space.
"Even if you've come to us symptomatic, we do know where to refer you to… So nobody's turned away."
Kurpjuweit said across the non-profit sector and province, organizations have been affected by COVID-19 – but a little less thanks to the generosity of the public.
"What has amazed us – and not just the Mustard Seed, but talking to my colleagues from different organizations – is how all of us are still being able to sustain ourselves despite the circumstances, how generous Edmontonians are…. We're grateful for those who are in position to give and are still giving."