COVID-19: The Mustard Seed moving Whyte Avenue shelter to Kinsmen to increase capacity

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The Mustard Seed is moving their south Edmonton shelter from Whyte Avenue to the Kinsmen Sports Centre in an effort to increase its capacity.

The move, made possible with grants from the provincial government, will allow for 180 mats to be used in the new location, up from 40.

“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 in a news release Thursday. “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.”

Starting Thursday, anyone who is not showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be allowed into the new shelter between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day of the week. Kinsmen Sports Centre will allow The Mustard Seed to increase their capacity while having their tenants safely social distance from one another, the release said.

The Mustard Seed is asking the public for donations to help cover start-up costs for the shelter that are not covered by government grants.

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

The city opened the Expo Centre Monday evening to offer the homeless population a place to self-isolate and be screened for COVID-19.

dshort@postmedia.com