Windsor

Women's shelter raising $1.5M for much-needed expansion

With only 12 beds at its current location, the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women needs to use local motels for families to make sure all women have a place to stay.

'It’s a significant need, it’s an urgent need. We are full every day'

Remy Boulbol hopes to have the new space open next year, a goal she says is ambitious, but achievable. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

Remy Boulbol's never seen an evening at the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women where no one was sleeping on one of their beds.

This need for service prompted the shelter to undertake a $1.5 million project to nearly double its size, add more individual beds and build the shelters for families.

With only 12 beds at its current location, the shelter needs to use local motels for families to make sure all women have a place to stay.

Drawings for the Welcome Centre Shelter show spaces for full families. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

"It's a significant need, it's an urgent need," Boulbol said. "We are full every day. We've never been empty  ever. There's never been a time when we've had no one in the shelter."

The Welcome Centre is the second Windsor shelter to begin a fundraising campaign to expand its facilities. The Downtown Mission is undergoing a similar campaign to build a second site to make sure its guests have enough space to sleep.

With about $250,000 raised so far, the Welcome Centre is hoping to have its new space open in 2017. Boulbol said they're looking for a building in good shape in either the downtown core or on the west end.

The Centre pinpointed those areas because that's where most of the women and families who use the shelter come from, according to a yearlong survey of the shelter's population.

"We want to be in a place where they can either access housing or other social services that are important to them," Boulbol said. "It's an ambitious goal, but we're confident that we'll be able to do it."

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