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I had the privilege last week of being invited to sit in on the regular monthly meeting of the Lloydminster Social Action Coalition Society as it discussed operational issues of its Men's Emergency Shelter. It was interesting listening to the discussion between the volunteer board of directors and key staff. Did you know that on any given evening between 14 and 17 males seek safety in the shelter.
Before entering the world of real estate I spent close to 30 years in health and human services working with a number of groups just like this across Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Society is a relatively young organization and from my perspective is doing a great job in fulfilling its mission of providing short term shelter to homeless men and encouraging them to get back on their feet. I am very proud that member Realtors of the Lloydminster Area Real Estate Board and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation were able to make a significant contribution to help this project get off the ground.
It wasn't that long ago in Lloydminster that if you had no where to go for the night you really had only a few alternatives. Cross the tracks and bunk down in an abandoned school bus near the golf course. Crawl into a dumpster and hope that the garbage truck didn't come early in the morning. Seek out a corner in an abandoned house or garage. Throw a rock through a store window and wait for the RCMP to take you in.
All of these only heighten a person's despair and sense of self-worth, often leading to destructive behaviour and poor health. It certainly doesn't make you a good candidate for employment.
Both provincial governments are financially supportive of the shelter's mandate, but as with all non-governmental organizations, there are needs that must be met by the community itself. A new or good used stove on which to prepare a hot meal. A dishwasher with a high heat sanitation feature to clean dishes and cutlery. Eight to ten sheets of 5/8's OSB or plywood to build storage shelves.
City stores and organizations have been great at donating excess food products. But if you like to cook, a few pans of lasagna or such like that can be heated and served would always be appreciated. And of course, a few volunteer hours assisting the dedicated personnel of the shelter, particularly in the mornings would be sincerely appreciated.
Call me and I will be happy to coordinate your donation or you can call the Shelter directly (306)825-3977. It can be anonymous or supported by a tax receipt for its value. Maybe that organization you belong to would like to host a noon BBQ or some type of event with proceeds to the Shelter. Talk to the owners of the company you work for, maybe they would like to become involved too.
I was told long ago that a community can be measured by how it treats its weakest members. I know that Lloydminster and area can be counted upon once again. I am sure there are many readers who will remember a time in their life when they were only a paycheque away from being destitute themselves. There but for the grace of God, go you and I.
Vern McClelland is associate broker with RE/MAX of Lloydminster. If you have questions or comments on this article or other real estate matters, he can be reached at 780.808.2700 or through the McClelland Group website www.mcclelland.ca
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.