Kinsmen being used as expanded overnight shelter for Edmonton homeless

Kinsmen Sports Centre — which, along with all rec centres, is closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — is being used as an overnight shelter for Edmonton’s most vulnerable.

The Mustard Seed south Edmonton Emergency Shelter used financial support from the province to move from Whyte Avenue to Kinsmen, where it can expand from 40 sleeping mats to 180 sleeping mats.

The facility will be open for people sleeping rough — who are not symptomatic of COVID-19 — from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. seven days a week.

“With this pandemic and recent economic shift, we expect more people coming through our doors seeking shelter and services,” said Dean Kurpjuweit, executive director of The Mustard Seed.

“We are so grateful to have been given the resources to help our most vulnerable — to provide them a safe environment where they can come in from the cold.”

The organization said the space will allow it to shelter 180 people “while also practicing social distancing and implementing proper health protocols put forth by Alberta Health Services.”

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The Mustard Seed is also asking Edmontonians for their help covering the start-up costs not covered by the government grant.

“A donation of just $35 covers one night’s stay at our shelter,” Kurpjuweit said.

“Thirty-five dollars not only provides someone in need with a mat, clean bedding and breakfast, but it also gives them a sense of security during a time of such uncertainty.”

To donate to The Mustard Seed’s Kinsmen Shelter, click here.

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