Winter shelters have closed for the season, and shelter coordinators on both sides of the Strait say, despite milder than usual weather, they were busy every night from November until the end of March.

On the Sunshine Coast, Brenda Wilkinson says 37 different people stayed at the shelter at St Hilda’s.

Wilkinson says they recorded 789 overnight stays. She says they’re hoping the shelter will look a little different next year. She says their goal is to be able to provide some supportive housing.

In Nanaimo, Reverend Samaya Oakley with the First Unitarian Fellowship says they had more than 3100 overnight stays. In February and March they were averaging 23 guests a night. and often had to refer people to a different shelter.

Oakley says they’re also planning to open the shelter half a month early, and open their doors an hour earlier each night.