In February 2020, we began opening our doors overnights as a "warming centre" where people could drop in, warm up and have coffee. We did this as an “extension of hours” on nights where the temperature was forecast to fall below -15 C. Then as the pandemic started, we felt the impact on our homeless population would be significant and therefore sought to provide a shelter through the summer. With funding from the Alberta Rural Development Network and $10,000 from other donors, as well as donations of space, and mats, we were able to open the Rocky Mat Program, initially at the Rock Youth Centre, and then moving to the Lord’s Food Bank building at 4923 52 St in September.
A few of the staff were able to go to the Mustard Seed in Red Deer to train with the shelter staff there. The Mustard Seed also served as a massive resource in developing policies and procedures. The overnight shelter is a dry facility; guests must sign an agreement to our policies in order to stay the night. A snack is provided upon arrival, as well as simple breakfast items, coffee, etc in the morning as people leave.
The program is set to run from October 1st to March 31st annually, as funding is available, or until a more permanent solution is implemented in Rocky Mountain House. This program employs six staff and provided 170 stays to individuals in need of shelter in 2020. There is capacity in the main hall for 6 guests/night (spaced out to meet Covid guidelines), with overflow in the back room if needed.
Open 7 nights a week
10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Oct. 1st-Mar. 31st