Lethbridge shelters prepare for high volume of visitors as temperatures plummet

It has been a fairly mild winter in Alberta so far, but all that is about change. Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures to hit well below -20 C and when temperatures get that cold, being outside for a long time can be dangerous.

“When the temperatures get as cold as they have been in the eastern part of Canada and the United States, we recommend everyone to seek shelter, stay in and get out of the elements,” said Travis Plaited Head, executive director of the Friendship Society.

Streets Alive Mission is a Lethbridge organization that offers crucial support to those less fortunate who need assistance.

“We always have clothes on hand, we always have hot coffee available, those kinds of things.

“When temperatures take a dip, we watch the forecast very carefully, so we know what our clients are going to be facing and try and be ready for all instances,” said Marie McLennan, associate director of Philanthropy for Streets Alive Mission.

The mission is already seeing more visitors and is often full. For those seeking additional support, the Lethbridge shelter, which offers a place to stay overnight, is not too far away.

“We have a capacity of about 111 people and very rarely does that number get any higher than that,” Plaited Head said.

“There been times it did but we were able to handle and accommodate whoever to utilize… We’ll find a way, we’ll find a way to assist them,” Plaited Head added.

For those looking for a place to stay during the cold temperatures, the Lethbridge Shelter and Resource Center offers 24-hour service, with several amenities. It is next to the Lethbridge soup kitchen which provides daily meals.

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