Calgary

Red Deer drop-in centre to close amid financial troubles

Operators of a drop-in centre in Red Deer are being forced to shut it down at the end of June because of financial problems.

Calgary's Mustard Seed to take over operation of high-demand facility by September

A drop-off in donations combined with increased demand is forcing Red Deer's Loaves and Fishes drop-in centre to hand over its operations to the Calgary-based Mustard Seed. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

Operators of a drop-in centre in Red Deer are being forced to shut it down at the end of June because of financial problems.

Loaves and Fishes is handing over its operations to the Calgary-based Mustard Seed as cash donations have dried up while demand has increased.

Executive director Halina Jarvis says they simply can't find enough money.

The imminent closure means uncertainty for the hundreds of people Loaves and Fishes feeds every week.

"It's hard for us. It's hard emotionally. Our hearts are hurting. But we want to make sure the people are safe. That's our big goal right now, and of course, I worry about the staff," she said.

The agency's board has asked the Mustard Seed to take over its work.

John Rook, the Mustard Seed's director of programs and strategic initiatives, says his organization will need time to assess the needs in Red Deer and how it will meet them.

"Our goal is to be the eyes and the hands and to get the work done and to figure out what the needs are so we'll be spending a lot of time there the next little while I'm sure," he said.

The Mustard Seed hopes to re-open the drop-in centre by September.