Summerside emergency shelter for women and children opens in the fall
A shelter for homeless women and children in Summerside is expected to open in a few months.
LifeHouse Transitional Housing and Emergency Shelter is slated to open this fall after renovations. The project is a partnership between the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside and the LifeHouse Advisory Committee.
“We are very excited,” said Adam Binkley, general manager of the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside.
Binkley said the plan is to turn two homes into a LifeHouse. The houses will have a total of five units. Two will be for an emergency shelter for women and the rest will be for transitional housing for families.
The federal government donates just under $ 300,000 to the shelter, and the province spent about $ 100,000 last winter. Members of the community, businesses and other stakeholders also contributed to the project.
“Dreaming about this for a long time”
The LifeHouse advisory committee worked on establishing the shelter for the last two years.
Committee member Margie Fowler said shelter was needed in Prince County.
“If you drive down the street in Summerside, you can see people, especially during the winter months, inside ATMs sitting on the floor,” Fowler said.
“Drive the streets and see cars parked there with women and children in the cars late at night.”
Fowler said the shelter recently hired a coordinator to help run the facility.
Susan DesRoche, another committee member, said over the next few months more people will be hired to provide 24/7 coverage of the shelter. The committee is currently hiring a case manager and will later recruit six case workers.
“I had dreamed of it for a long time,” DesRoche said.
“I always said if I won the lottery I would open a house for young women so they could, you know, become moms and keep their kids with them.”
The Boys and Girls Club of Summerside also hopes to incorporate new programs into the shelter to better support women and children in need.
“Our goal is to provide a program to empower women and women with families that will provide employability skills, help reduce barriers they face and help them find employment,” said Binkley.
LifeHouse’s advisory committee said it plans to eventually expand the shelter to 10 units.