Two Alberta municipalities are tackling rural homelessness in unique ways. Edson has created five shelter pods — small heated spaces with space for a sleeping mat, fire alarm and charging outlets - which are being used for the first time this winter. Clients line up outside and at 8 p.m., press a button that calls a volunteer who opens the door remotely. In Whitecourt, the Soaring Eagle Support Society has converted a motel into transitional housing where clients can live for six months to two years. A handful of the 30 people aged 30 to 60 who have lived in the Eagle's Nest motel since May have moved into permanent housing. However, the society only has enough money to keep the site running until the end of December. Organizers of both initiatives say funding to tackle homelessness is hard to come by in rural Canada, but the provincial and federal governments say they are working to help rural and remote communities.

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