Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
June 7, 2010
Christmas collections to help the homeless
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
EDMONTON - Christian churches in Edmonton have once again set a record for donations to the No Room in the Inn campaign, which uses Christmas collection plate offerings to help eliminate homelessness in the city.
A total of $61,735 was contributed by 54 Church congregations from eight different Christian denominations this year in support of Harry Holt Place, the latest project of the Edmonton Inner City Housing Society.
Harry Holt Place, when it is completed in September, will provide housing for 10 single persons and six couples. The project is a Housing First new construction initiative of Edmonton's Ten-Year Plan to Eliminate Homelessness.
"Harry Holt Place meets the highest priority needs identified in the 10-year plan - modest-sized units not being provided in the private marketplace," said Cam MacDonald, executive director of Edmonton Inner City Housing.
"The No Room in the Inn funds will help provide full accessibility for the project, including a wheelchair ramp and barrier-free housing units."
One innovation of the No Room in the Inn campaign this year has been the work of local churches to organize a community welcome for their new neighbours in Harry Holt Place. Members of St. Alphonsus Catholic Parish, whose church is located three blocks away from Harry Holt Place, met with MacDonald to learn more about their new neighbours and the project.
"We see it as a call of the Gospel to reach out to our neighbours who are poor and homeless and welcome them to our neighbourhood," said Father Bob Kasun, pastor of St. Alphonsus.
Bob McKeon of No Room in the Inn said he hopes that this local Church neighbourhood welcome can become a regular feature for all housing projects supported by No Room in the Inn in the future.
No Room in the Inn is a partnership between the Edmonton and District Council of Churches and the Quality of Life Commission.
Since it began in 1999, No Room in the Inn has raised more than $420,000 for projects aimed at providing safe and affordable housing for those who are in greatest need.
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