With demand growing, New Brunswick shelters prepare for winter onslaught

Outages and storms like the one on Saturday can be especially challenging for local shelters that are doing everything they can to help vulnerable people in New Brunswick — and that means they need your help.

With winds reaching more than 100 km/h last night, the only two shelters in Fredericton experienced power outages during the storm.

“With this building, it’s pretty quick because there is a generator that will kick in so it will go,” said Warren C. Maddox, the executive director for Fredericton Homeless Shelters, Inc.

“Grace House, which is our women’s facility down the road, we don’t have a generator for that space so it’s the same as everybody else.  You sort of hunker down and dig down the lanterns and wait for the power to come back on.”

But with colder weather on its way and winter just around the corner, Maddox says preparation is already in progress.

Intake increases and funding, he says, are often affected.

As a result, they’re more reliant on support as expenses go up in the winter months.

Even with the additional support, shelters are often fully occupied and are forced to turn away those looking for shelter from the cold.

“If we don’t have capacity, then we try to find other places for them where they can go and seek shelter and stay warm for at least the night,” Maddox said.

“We have been pretty successful at keeping people alive and warm.”

The shelters also offers clothing during the winter months, meaning shelters need donations from the public.

“If you have excess in terms of clothing or blankets, that sort of stuff, drop that off as well. Warm boots especially are always critical,” said Maddox.

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