Mayors Award

38th Annual Honours and Awards Banquet

Inn Out of the Cold

Inn Out of the Cold

Each year, the Mayor is given the important task of selecting the recipient of the Mayors Award to be presented at the Annual Honours and Awards Banquet.  There is no specific criteria that dictates how this decision is to be made.

Mayor Heather Jackson Inn Out of the Cold St Thomas ElginThe Mayors Award honouree must quite simply embody a “special something.”  That “special something” helps our City to be an extraordinary community, drive by passion of our volunteers and our advocates.  Sometimes zeroing in on one person or group can be a tough process.  But this year, I had no difficulty determining who should stand on the stage to receive the 2011 Mayors Award.

Please give a warm welcome to the following individuals who have been instrumental in getting the Inn Out of the Cold program running in St. Thomas.

Inn Out of the Cold Mayors Award

Also instrumental in helping to see the successful start to this program are Ray and Shirley Broadbent, Pastor Troy van Ginkel and Central United Church.  Along with these individuals, 50 different volunteers have contributed time and energy to the project.

On October 1, 2010, the doors opened at Inn Out of the Cold St. Thomas Elgin, as an emergency shelter in St. Thomas.  There had been no facilities for homeless people in the City since the YMCA men’s shelter on Talbot Street closed about 20 years ago.

The idea of operating an emergency shelter during the winter months was initiated by Heather DeBruyn, Executive Director of the Canadain Mental Health Association Elgin Branch.  Heather successfully applied for start-up funding from the federal government’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy in early 2010.

To further develop the project proposal, she partnered with Ken Brooks, Executive Director of the Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinic, who has experience with a similar emergency shelter program in Woodstock.  Central United Church on Wellington Street generously offered its basement gym space every day from 6pm to 8am for the program to run.

Inn Out of the Cold St. Thomas Elgin is incorporated as a non-profit entity with a Board of Directors.  A program coordinator organizes work schedules and supervises the daily operations of the shelter.  A hot dinner is served, breakfast is provided in the morning and a bagged lunch is available if required.  The program relies on donations of food and supplies and the support of dedicated volunteers who provide overnight staffing, food and laundry services and other direct activity costs.

The Inn Out of the Cold shelter closed its doors for the season on March 31st  2011 and are already working on the plans to open in October 2011.

I am very honoured this evening to present the board of directors, staff and volunteers at Inn Out of the Cold with the 2011 Mayors Award.

Please join me in showing sincere appreciation to the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers of Inn Out of the Cold as I present them with a plaque for their dedication and contributions to our community.