Sherbrooke Heat Stop shelter moving to new premises

Homeless man lying on the ground
Sherbrooke shelter the Heat Shop has relocated. Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.
Derek Bullard - CJMQ - SherbrookeQC | 12-12-2023
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The Heat Stop homeless shelter in Sherbrooke is moving from its previous location on Alexandre Street to new premises on Wellington Sud Street.

The decision to move wasn't a response to problems at the previous location, but rather a strategic effort to be even closer to the people in need. Gabriel Pallotta, coordinator at the heart of the initiative, notes that the new location on Rue Wellington aligns more closely with areas where homeless individuals tend to gather, ensuring better accessibility to services. This relocation marks a significant shift for the resource, opening doors to better serve the city's homeless population.

Pallotta says that while the situation may seem worse due to recent statistics, the region's homelessness is only marginally higher than in other parts of Quebec.

As winter approaches, concerns about the well-being of the homeless population grow. Pallotta reassures the community that they are prepared for the colder months. With a schedule from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., seven days a week, the shelter aims to provide a safe haven during the harshest hours.

Last year, security agents were initially enlisted due to resource constraints, but this year sees a positive shift: Pallotta says that they have successfully recruited specialized social workers, bringing a more human-centered approach to the shelter.

While the total number of individuals seeking shelter is expected to decrease due to improved operations and hours, Pallotta acknowledges an anticipated increase during the night, particularly on weekends. The shelter is prepared to accommodate this potential surge in demand, ensuring that everyone has a safe place to stay.

While logistical constraints make material or food donations challenging, citizens can contribute by donating to various organizations supporting the homeless. Pallotta directs interested donors to the city's website for more information.

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