The opening of the new Out of the Cold centre on Assomption Boulevard has helped to lessen the stress on other shelters.
Founder of Harvest House Cal Maskery says they have seen less homeless people seeking shelter since last month.
But he admits some still prefer to sleep in tents that an a shelter, “Sleeping in a room of one to eight people, and in some cases even more, can be uncomfortable. At least in a tent, you can control who is sleeping in your space. That is trouble for some, just knowing who you are sleeping next to in an open room.”
Mental illness can also play a factor.
Maskery says raising awareness is important, and breaking the stigma that is sometimes associated with staying at a shelter.
“There will be enough room available between the four shelters for the winter months for those who will come in. In the springtime, when the old fire hall on Assomption Boulevard closes again, then we will have more people come back to Harvest House. But we are working at opening up new beds to get them ready for the spring,” Maskery says.