Edmonton shelter issues call for warm clothing as cold snap grips Prairies

An Edmonton shelter is appealing for more help, after a recent cold snap across the Prairies left many people struggling on the streets over Easter weekend.

Hope Mission has been helping the less fortunate in Edmonton for 89 years. The non-profit houses 500 people and provides 1,000 meals a day.

Though it’s early April, winter is keeping its chilly grip on the Prairies. The shelter is still in need of warm clothing donations, said spokesperson Robin Padanyi.

“Socks and underwear are the two biggest needs we always have,” said Padanyi. “Especially when you think about the snow melting, the spring thaw coming. If someone’s feet gets wet and their socks get wet, and the temperatures still dipping to minus fifteen at night, they are in serious danger of frostbite.”

Rose Rodriguez, a kitchen helper, has been with Hope Mission for 26 years. She says the shelter’s work is vital to helping the people she calls family.

“Many of them don’t have a house, a home or family, so it’s very important because we can let them feel like this is the home for them, cooking for them,” she said. “They bring their kids and it makes us feel so happy and important in this community.”

Terry Jackson, who uses Hope Mission, said he’s grateful for its services.

“When you come in and you have a meal like this, it keeps the tummy warm and the midsection stay warm,” he said. “That’s the most important part. Everything else is still cold, but you’ll live. You will live with a nice hot meal inside you.”