BY LINDSAY BRISCOE
This week The Northern Sun News caught up with Red Lake Area Emergency Shelter manager Janalee Jodouin to help you better understand what your donations mean to the shelter, how they’re used, and what some of the most commonly needed items are.
How much funding does the Emergency Shelter receive on a monthly basis? Where does that funding come from?
On a monthly basis, the Kenora District Services Board provides $3,209. In addition, we receive “rent” via Ontario Works for the semi-permanent/permanent residents (which have recently gone from five to 10 people.) This is never a guaranteed payment due to the fluctuation of people as they transition into their own homes. There are also a number of people we are working with who have no funding source.
What are the Emergency Shelter’s average monthly operating costs?
A realistic monthly budget to operate would be anywhere from $18,000-$20,000. Staff costs are quite high which is why we are always looking for volunteers. We are now open until 10 a.m. and reopen at 4 p.m. and remain open all day on Sundays. Due to the influx in hours and relatively new government standards that include having two staff on during intake, we have no choice but to have paid staff until such a time comes that enough volunteers can be coordinated. We rely 100 per cent on donations for food and clothing, which we receive via the generosity of Red Lake area residents, but there are always other items we struggle to keep stocked such as laundry soap, toilet paper, and basic food items that we could not do without.
Can you give some specific examples of how the donation from Goldcorp
will be used?
Thankfully, Goldcorp came through with their donation at a time when money is the tightest. It’s cold, costs are up, and will be for months to come. We will use their generous donation to keep everyone warm and cozy as the winter months go on. Each donation given, from $1-$25,000, helps us add another day or two of operation to keep people off the streets. There is no possible way that this shelter would survive without the incredible outpouring of kindness from the businesses and people in this community. It is really quite humbling and I have shed many tears of happiness in the past few months
If people wanted to donate items, what would you recommend? When is the best time to drop off and where should they do so?
If people would like to donate anything from clothing to food to money (which we are, of course, always happy to accept,) or perhaps items for our fundraising auction that takes place on Facebook; they can call the shelter at 727-2430 and leave a message or call me directly at 728-1175 and I will make arrangements. I am just in the process of setting up a PayPal Account to allow the convenience of donations online. Tax receipts are available. As I said earlier, laundry soap is always a challenge to keep stocked, as well as any type of meat, protein, peanut butter etc.
It is important to note that if we are unable to use a donation/s, we will pass it on to the next agency or person in need. Also, if a person finds themself in a difficult position and could use a jacket/hat/mitts etc., we will find them something warm to wear.
What is the phone number and address of the Emergency Shelter?
We are open until 10 a.m. then reopen at 4 p.m. Sundays we are here all day. Donations can be dropped off at any of those times. The address is 9 Summers Road in Red Lake.