The executive director of Larry’s Place in Elliot Lake, also known as Maplegate House, told CTV News last Friday's sudden death of one of the men's shelter clients had a tremendous impact on residents.
No stranger on the day-to-day highs and lows of helping clients on the path to a better life, Melody Rose said she has seen it all in her 14 years with the organization.
Admitting that it has been a hard few days since the tragic event that led to the death of a 34-year old man, Rose said on top of a pandemic, the isolation for men living in a shelter doesn’t help.
While should could not speculate on the circumstances involving the man’s death, Rose said the incident brings to light the need for more social support to alleviate what she calls "a disconnect" from people.
Rose said for the clients who live at the shelter, where there are only six beds, the death led to the departure of two other men the next day. She said for some, a breakdown in support from whatever means can be a turning point.
She’s quick to admit the position she holds at the shelter can be extremely rewarding too. She and her staff endeavor to connect with those who have struggled but have the ability to move in the right direction though patience, love and support from people who care.
The mother of the man who died reached out to Rose, expressing support and gratitude for what she did in helping her son, who was not from the Elliot Lake area.
For Rose, one lost life is one too many, but there is no looking back, only ahead with the guidance and support to better days.
Larry’s Place opened its doors on June 9, 2018. It helps displaced men and their children and is open 365 days a year. If you would like more information about how to can access Larry’s Place or volunteer, please contact (705) 461-9868.