Cape Breton soup kitchen looks to expand services
Harvest House in Glace Bay wants to offer short-term shelter
Expansion plans are in the works for Harvest House in Glace Bay, where organizers want to buy the building and renovate it to offer short-term shelter to the needy.
Harvest House, which serves about 50 meals a day, has operated out of a former grocery store on Main Street for the past 12 years.
Melvin Sangster, the co-ordinator of Harvest House, said the group has been given the chance to purchase the building and that means they could also renovate it.
He said more and more people are asking not just for food, but a place to stay as well.
"Some of them have to sleep outdoors in the night and we have people who come here who sleep in sheds, people who come and just do whatever they can to get something to eat," Sangster said.
"We need to have a little bigger kitchen where more people can come and eat and upstairs we need rooms up there where we can take people who are homeless and have no place to live and they can stay until they can get on their feet."
David Frison, a regular at the soup kitchen, said any extra services offered by Harvest House are a good idea.
"I had a downfall there a few years ago and you know, it helped me get back on my feet. It can help others like me," he said.
Viola Baker is another person who uses Harvest House.
"I come here because it's a peaceful place to come. I talk to Hazel and Melvin about stuff and they're really nice people. They'll do anything in the world for you," she said.
Sangster estimates it will cost about $400,000 to buy and renovate the building. He said organizers hope to be sharing their business plan with all three levels of government in the next few months and will be reaching out to the community for support as well.
Organizers hope to start renovating the building in the new year.