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Guelph charity needs $50k to $70k in funding by mid-October

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The Guelph community is stepping up to help the Royal City Mission in a time of need.

The organization will have to cut back on hours and services if it cannot raise anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 in funding by mid-October.

Executive director Kevin Coghill said the charity has received $10,000 in small donations so far.

“I think so many of our community, they’re used to enduring crisis so this is another crisis and I think it’s something we’ll get through,” Coghill said.

The charity operates out of Chalmers United Church on Quebec Street and provides shelter and meals for people less fortunate.

Last week, he said the organization served over 1,900 meals.

The Royal City Mission has seen a 31 per cent increase in the use of its services since January, serving around 250 people every day.

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Coghill said people are using the services just to get by.

“It’s not just about the homelessness, but also about the cost of things right now,” he said.

He said the cost of single rooms in houses is over $800, which is more than a cheque from the Ontario Disability Support Program.

Economic issues are affecting the organization, including inflation and the cost of living, and they are preventing the mission and its volunteers from keeping up with the demand.

In February, the Royal City Mission was granted government funding to extend its drop-in hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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They initially opened at 12 p.m. before being extended in September and the mission has been serving breakfast for the last five months, in addition to lunch and dinner.

Coghill said the organization has reached out to the City of Guelph for additional funding.

“At this point, we’re just in conversation, just trying to figure things out,” he said.

Coghill added he’s not even sure it’s possible at this point due to next year’s budget being set, however he will leave that decision with the city.

Without the funding, he said the organization will be impacted in a number of ways.

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“It means that those that don’t have a place to go don’t have a warm spot for those four hours. Obviously, it means that they’re not able to access breakfast the same way,” he said.

To donate, you can go to the Royal City Mission website.