Temporary shelter opens in Sarnia because of ‘dramatic’ rise in homelessness

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The former Laurel Lea-St. Mathews' Church in Sarnia opens tonight as a temporary Out of The Cold shelter.

Lambton County and the Inn of the Good Shepherd will be opening a special shelter as a winter storm makes its way through the region.

Valerie Colasanti says an Out of the Cold emergency shelter has been set up at the former Laurel Lea-St. Mathews’ Church on Exmouth Street in Sarnia. It can house up to 28 men.

The Inn will be managing the service while workers from Lambton’s Social Services department will be on hand to provide support services and helpthose coming in from the cold find a more permanent place to stay.

The county recently approved the Out of the Cold Shelter because there has been a “dramatic” increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness. The county estimates there are 253 people and families without a home right now. About 53 are sleeping outdoors. In the last three months, officials estimate that up to 70 people were outside at night.

If you know someone who needs housing help, they can call the Inn of the Good Shepherd at 519-344-1679.