Coffee cards aiming to help out Stepping Stones clients are available for purchase at Waits News.

Coffee card campaign — Helping emergency shelter patrons

A simple coffee and a muffin goes a long way to warming a heart and filling a belly first thing on a cold winter’s morning.

A simple coffee and a muffin goes a long way to warming a heart and filling a belly first thing on a cold winter’s morning.

Available for purchase at Waits News are $5 coffee cards aiming to help people who are leaving the Stepping Stones emergency shelter early in the morning.

“Often people want to make a donation to the shelter but they don’t know how,” says Marjie Hills, supervisor at Stepping Stones.

“These are only $5 and now is the time of year our clients can really use them.”

Stepping Stones for Success is an emergency shelter for those who find themselves without safe housing in the West Kootenay area.

There are 17 beds available in five bedrooms with a common room, kitchen, laundry and shared washroom facilities.

During the winter months from December 1 to March 31, Stepping Stones offers an Emergency Weather Response program with five additional beds to help at a time when they are often at full capacity.

But Hills says this year, there’s been a reduction of hours that Stepping Stones can operate this program.

“Clients needing to access this service will only be able to come in from the cold at 11:30 p.m. and must exit by 6:30 a.m.,” she says. “This is an early time to be out on the street.”

There are very few businesses open at that time of the morning however, Waits News has its doors open bright and early.

Owner Mari Plamondon has been kind enough to make up “Coffee Cards” for Stepping Stones staff to issue out to clients needing to leave the shelter early in the morning.

The shop owner was eager to come on board saying everyone needs to be treated with respect, care and consideration.

“I think that it’s very important to us that we break that barrier of them and us,” she says. “Anytime we can help people who may be marginalized, it’s the right thing to do.”

These cards give people a warm place to go when there may be no other option available to them. Each $5 card gives folks two cups of coffee or one cup of coffee and a muffin with a coffee refill.

Stepping Stones employs 23 people, both full and part-time who provide 24/7 care.


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