The Out of the Cold program in Aliiston will launch on Wednesday.

The overnight shelter program is the first of its kind in the area and will operate out of the old Alliston Christian Fellowship building at 41 Paris Street.

“Here in the Alliston area, homelessness is sadly on the rise,” said Brenda Powling, community coordinator who is also an addictions and community service worker at The Well. “It is not as visible, but it is here and we feel it is time to address this need."

The demand for housing help in the community has been increasing in recent years. In the past, the closest options for shelter in the winter months were in Barrie, Newmarket or Toronto.

“We only have one unit of transitional housing and it is always full,” said Powling. “There is a huge lack of affordable housing options in the area and the waitlist for subsidized housing is 4-7 years long.” 

Starting Wednesday the program will be open seven nights a week from November through mid-April providing accommodations and meals for the homeless people 16 years-old or older.

Volunteers are still needed to help prepare meals and manage the shelter’s operations.

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