The exterior of the Table men's shelter in Huntsville, shown on May 30th, 2019. Photo by James Wood/MyMuskokaNow.com staff.
HUNTSVILLE, ON- The only men’s shelter in Muskoka is closing their doors until the fall.
According to Heather Berg, the CEO of the Table Soup Kitchen Foundation, the doors at the shelter at 11 Hanes Street in Huntsville were closed on April 8th after a major shortfall in funding.
When it is up and running, the shelter has eight beds for males aged 16 and older to stay for 14 days in a row, to a maximum of 28 days in a calendar year.
The shelter’s website states that they do not turn away anyone seeking help should they be in need of shelter and aims to connect guests with community resources when requested or appropriate.
Berg said their current level of funding does not match with the “huge need” in the area for a shelter.
She believes the best thing that residents wishing to help can do would be to make a financial donation, which can be done on the foundation’s website. An annual grant of $60,000 is also being sought from the Sprott Foundation.
Berg is hoping the community could match that number.
“That would be an amazing start,” said Berg.
“We’re praying hard that that happens, so that we have some sustainable funding year in and year out.”
With the temporary closure, the only men’s shelters close to the Muskoka area and Parry Sound are in North Bay and Orillia.
“We’re definitely the place where people from this area come and find shelter,” said Berg.
“We provide three meals a day, supports and services, a case worker, a safe place, a comfortable bed. We just really need our community to come along side us and support what we’re trying to do.”
The Table will be continuing to operate all their other services as normal.
“There have been no changes there, and we’re grateful to be able to continue to do that.”
The foundation’s website can be found here: https://thetablefoundation.ca/