The Lakeland Out-Of-The-Elements Shelter Society is a Non-Profit organization that consists of a few volunteers who are passionate about bringing homelessness to an end in Lac La Biche.
We run a Mat Program for homeless men and women who are in need of a warm place to stay, especially during the winter months. We also provide three meals a day, showers and access to laundry. We are open 24/7.
In 2007, our chairperson noticed a young man camping in the woods behind a grocery store located on the edge of town. She also noticed that he did not appear to be prepared for camping as he had no tent or other camping articles. She decided to speak to him and learned that he had come to this area for a job, which fell through, leaving him with no money and no place to go. He was trying to feed himself and earn enough money to leave the area by doing odd jobs as he found them.
As winter approached, she became very concerned for his welfare and wondered what he would do as it became colder. The good news is that he was able to leave the area before winter and the idea for a Men’s Shelter was born. A dedicated group of concerned citizens came together and were donated space by the New Life Victory Church. Pastor Les Bourassa was instrumental in making the shelter a reality.
In 2013, the Society was able to obtain its own building after the Northern Lights School Division offered a 3-year lease on a small building, a former Playschool. The building was renovated and became ready for use in the fall of 2014. Through hard work, prayer, and lots of fundraising this dedicated group of people have managed to provide shelter to the Lac La Biche community’s homeless and dispossessed men each winter since 2009.
Our Mandate is to provide a warm, safe place for adult men to sleep, but our mandate is constantly changing to include more supports.
The shelter is sometimes able to connect the men with short-term employment, and regularly encourages men to connect with other appropriate services and agencies.