Shelter for homeless women opens in Charlottetown
The shelter will run as a pilot project until April 30
A homeless shelter for women is opening its doors in Charlottetown Friday night.
The community organization Blooming House has been working to raise money to open a shelter since last spring. Earlier this month, it announced $60,000 in funding from the provincial government, and the loan of a house, rent free, by a local church.
The location is temporary until a permanent shelter can be set up, said co-founder Liz Corney. She said the location opening now will operate until April 30, and will be open to any woman in need of a warm place to stay for the night.
"We've received so many donations and people just telling us that this is a need that they see," she said.
"We're really just excited to offer this support in the community."
Until now, the only option has been Anderson House, a shelter for women fleeing violence at home, which sets aside a couple of beds for homeless women. The last homeless shelter for women in Charlottetown closed in 2012.
More than 100 volunteers
The provincial funding covers staff and operational needs for the shelter.
Corney said the shelter will provide a place for women to get out of the cold at night. It will be open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., with two staff people on-site during operating hours.
The house has five bedrooms, and will have eight overnight beds. Children will not be allowed.
Blooming House now has four staff members, a shelter co-ordinator and more than 100 volunteers. Corney said the organization has spent the last few weeks training staff.
Sessions have been held on the shelter's policies and procedures as well as sensitivity and crisis intervention training.
Location won't be made public
Co-founder Brynn Devine said Blooming House will not be making the exact location of the shelter public.
"This is a temporary space for us. We are closing our doors April 30th and so as an ongoing precaution we would like the location to be kept private," said Devine.
"We don't want to risk anybody's safety after April 30th whether that's women coming to seek shelter or that is the people residing in this location after."
Devine said they are also in contact with community organizations that work with vulnerable people to ensure they have the information about Blooming House.
"All sorts of community organizations have our details, ranging from the police to the soup kitchen to social services, the Department of Housing. It's out there in the community now."
The shelter is in the city, but not in the downtown core, so Devine said they will provide transportation for anyone who needs it.