Island men's homeless shelter adding more social activities

Guests at an Island men's homeless shelter are getting an opportunity to take in some social events with the help of local businesses.

Bedford MacDonald House provides a warm and comfortable place for homeless men in Charlottetown to stay and also connects them with important community supports.

Now, guests are also getting an opportunity to take part in some social events.

Mike Redmond, residential manager of Bedford MacDonald House, said guests had a quick answer when they were asked what social activity they wanted to do.

"The first thing that they came up with was going to play softball in the park," he said. 

A group of guests and staff made it happen on Sunday. Redmon said Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown and Coun. Alana Jankov even joined in.

"It was a tremendous success," he said. 

Looking to have more outings

Redmond said after the softball game in Victoria Park, guests went back to Bedford MacDonald House for pizza.

He said the socializing is about more than just fun and games. 

"Doing things that make you laugh or smile is a way of reconnecting you back into the community," he said. "Really, the opposite of addictions is connection."

Redmond said the list of future activities includes deep sea fishing, hockey and basketball games, and gardening, among others.

Community support

Redmond said Bedford MacDonald House gets a lot of assistance from the community, with local businesses offering things such as tickets to sports games. The city has also provided picnic tables and benches for guests to use.

The local restaurant Leonhard's Café helps out by donating hot food, Redmond said.

"Those things really really help make Bedford MacDonald House a home."

Redmond said the house receives funding from the province and benefits from community partnerships like the one the shelter has with the Salvation Army.

"It gives us greater opportunity to provide resources in the building."

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