Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Shelter charging bunk fee

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KENORA -- A homeless shelter in Kenora has started charging clients a fee, in some cases, to stay the night.

Yvonne Bearbull of the Kenora Fellowship Centre said the facility has been progressively heading toward a deficit for the last two years.

Money is now so tight, anyone staying longer than a week is asked to come up with $15 to keep their bunk.

John Pencoff, the front-line supervisor at the shelter, said in the real world, anyone who doesn't pay their rent sleeps outside.

He said the facility needs money to run.

The shelter, which receives little government funding, provides 21 beds to those in need.

Floyd Perras, executive director of Winnipeg's Siloam Mission, said he can relate to the financial crunch but believes the Kenora shelter must find a different solution as temperatures drop.

"When it gets really cold here, we are thankful that the Salvation Army can open up a couple extra beds so that people go there," Perras said. "We can't turn people out at 30 below. You might as well be giving them a death sentence."

Kenora staff don't want to put anyone in jeopardy and are looking for other options, but as the bills keep piling up, the fee is the best bet at keeping the shelter running for now, they said.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2013 A3

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