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Men’s shelter space all maxed out

By September 16, 2022No Comments
Valerie Lazicki, executive director of the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter, put out a call for donations of mitts, toques and jackets during a presentation at the Rotary Club of Lloydminster’s Monday lunch. Geoff Lee Meridian Source


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That’s how Rotary Club of Lloydminster member Neil Harris wrapped up his introduction of Valerie Lazicki, who spoke about the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter at The Olive Tree on Monday.

Lazicki is the executive director of the shelter and the umbrella, Lloydminster Social Action Coalition Society, who came to inform Rotary about the services the shelter provides and the vision for the organization.

“I want them to know about the good work we do, and hopefully, gain some support for our organization from our community,” said Lazicki with a list of some weather-related needs top of mind.

“Every year at this time, we start looking for winter coats, boots, gloves, long johns, blankets and some backpacks—just anything that is going to keep people warm,” she said.

The shelter is also continuing to search for a larger space to expand its services to meet growing demand.

“We are still in our shelter as it is right now. Our clientele is increasing and we are struggling in the small space that we have,” said Lazicki.

She told Rotary the shelter only has 28 beds in the dorm and up to 12 more people sometimes cram into a tight entrance space during the winter so they don’t freeze to death outdoors.

Lazicki says right now the shelter is not full every night with the weather still being nice.

“There are days when we’re full and days when we’re not. As the weather gets colder, we’ll see an increase in those beds being used,” she said.

Lazicki also wants a larger facility to provide equal space for women.

The shelter is seeing more people who have regular jobs and housing come by for food hampers along with increased demand from youth for out-the-door services.

Lazicki says they need a separate dorm for specialized services with more youths experiencing mental health issues since the pandemic.

Currently, the shelter provides outreach services such as job search assistance to clients to get them back on their feet and into stable independent living.

Some clients also drop by to make phone calls.

As for funding, Lazicki says the shelter relies on grants, some government funding, and donations.

“We have regular funding from the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments and then we top up to ensure we have enough for operating expenses,” she explained.

When it comes to donations, she said, “it’s hard to get behind homeless men,” noting the shelter gets fewer donations than other non-profits as a result.