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Grace Place ready for changing seasons

The facility continues to offer help during the day, and a bed to sleep on. They have been operating in Thunder Bay since 2008 and their will be their eighth year of offering an overnight option to those less fortunate.

THUNDER BAY — Even though it doesn’t look or feel like like fall, the volunteers at Grace Place feel like they are ready to meet the needs of their clientele one it gets colder.

The facility on Simpson Street has been operating for 16 years and is going on their eighth year of offering an overnight option to those less fortunate in the city.

“We are starting off optimistic,” operations manager Melody Macsemchuk said on Monday. “All our staff have been trained and we're offering the 25 beds again this year — we take it one night at a time.”

Grace Place will also be bringing back the Out from the Cold Program starting on Nov. 1, but also offers daytime meals in advance of its overnight reopening.

“We have a drop-in on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. — we serve upwards from 300 to 350 meals each time that we're open," Macsemchuk said. 

"We don't really have a [maximum number that we can serve] we [just] keep going until our food runs out. We had 15 beds [in 2021] and we went up to 25 just because of the increase of people needing shelter.”

Shelter manager Judy Harju said staff are there to help, even during times of difficulty when personalities or behaviours clash.

“The main thing [our staff try and do is] deescalate [the situation], be non-threatening, and make sure that everybody's safe and make sure that that person is safe and settled. [We try] to just quiet them down, get them to [a] place where [they can] restart [and engage in a calmly manner.”

Harju has only been the manager for a few years and noted every year the staff try and look at ways to serve customers better and make sure everyone gets looked after.

More information on how to donate to Grace Place can be found here


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