The Warm Welcome shelter had one client in each of its first two nights December 1 and 2.
It appears that the shelter might have opened at just the right time, as Estevan received several inches of snow on December 2, and temperatures plummeted in the days following the storm.
“Clients last year came to us for a variety of reasons,” said Estevan Salvation Army Lieutenant Brian Bobolo. “Some of them were new to town, some of them had chronic issues related to housing and security, others came by way of family outcome.”
But sometimes weather has played a factor in the number of people at the shelter, and Bobolo is hopeful that people who are struggling to stay warm will come to Warm Welcome.
Bobolo said he'll circulate the community in the Salvation Army's van to check locations where he knows that people park their vehicles for the night, and he'll invite them to stay at Warm Welcome.
The first three nights for the shelter this year were at the Estevan Salvation Army, as Warm Welcome will be inside the Salvation Army's building from Sunday to Tuesday night each week. St. Paul's United Church's auditorium will be the shelter's home from Wednesday to Saturday night.
“The two locations are both well known to the community in terms of providing this program, and so I think those who are seeking emergency shelter will feel right at home at both locations,” said Bobolo.
The Salvation Army can also provide services for Warm Welcome clients during the day.
Warm Welcome is still looking for volunteers, Bobolo said. Those who have volunteered have stated that they have a good time, they enjoy interacting with the clients, and they appreciate the chance to participate in a worthwhile program.