The sound of children’s voices during the holidays typically conjures feelings of warmth and sentimentality – unless, of course, those voices are in a homeless shelter.
It’s a jarring mental image but one that A Place Called Home in Lindsay is being forced to contemplate.
Right now, the shelter is housing seven children and 10 adults, a mix of families, singles, and couples, according to Nicole Bryant, manager of hostel and outreach services.
“We are anticipating a little bit of movement in the next few weeks and we may be looking at having 10 children and nine adults in the shelter for Christmas,” she adds.
APCH is a 19-bed shelter that serves all of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.
This will be the first time in APCH’s history where there could be more children than adults in the shelter.
How You Can Help
As the Christmas season approaches, there are several ways for people to help, according to Bryant.
“Gift cards from stores like Giant Tiger, Canadian Tire and local drugstores, give families a little dignity when they are able to choose and purchase a gift for their children or their spouse themselves,” she says.
From a nutrition perspective, fresh milk is high on their list of needs. APCH spends $2,222.85 on milk for the shelter each year. That equates to roughly four litres a day, according to information provided by APCH Board Chair, Karen Round.
“It is important to all of the staff at APCH that children are provided with enough milk to foster good growth and health,” says Round.
This year, the shelter is selling 7 x 7 x 3 glass blocks filled with 100 LED lights, wrapped in gold and silver bows for indoor and outdoor use. A purchase of two blocks at $60 will provide almost 60 servings of milk to the children and adults staying in the shelter. A purchase of one block at $35 will provide nearly 23 servings of milk.
“We have a limited supply available,” says Round, and orders can be placed directly with APCH at 705-328-0905.
Bryant says that besides milk, fresh fruit would be welcomed at the shelter for both children and adults.
“There is really nothing else like a fresh crispy apple, a juicy orange or a perfectly ripe banana to bring a smile to someone’s face…especially when fresh fruit is not something they are generally able to afford easily,” she says.
A Place Called Home is located at 64 Lindsay St. S, in Lindsay.