Summerside shelter showered with gifts from the community

·2 min read
Margie Fowler, left, and Susan DesRoche pose with some of the gifts donated to the  LifeHouse Transitional Housing and Emergency Shelter. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
Margie Fowler, left, and Susan DesRoche pose with some of the gifts donated to the LifeHouse Transitional Housing and Emergency Shelter. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

About 80 women gathered at the Trinity United Church at Summerside on Saturday to sip tea, raise funds and receive donations for a new shelter in the city.

LifeHouse Transitional Housing and Emergency Shelter is the first shelter in Summerside for women and their children.

It was scheduled to open this fall, however, the opening has been postponed until January 2022 due to delays in renovations.

Trinity United Church and St. Mary's Anglican church collaborated to organize the event.

"It's just like a bridal shower," said Susan DesRoche, a member of the LifeHouse advisory committee. "We did a registry list of our needs and wants, and the ladies have brought us a lot of wonderful gifts."

Some of the items received are kitchen appliances, dishes, linens, towels and sheets, said committee member Margie Fowler. There were too many bags to open on Saturday.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

The items donated were beyond expectations, DesRoche said.

"There's some purses, socks, gloves, mitts and quilts. All kinds of stuff we couldn't imagine, we're going to have so much fun opening all the bags."

Fowler said she isn't surprised by Summerside's generosity.

"I was born and raised here," she said. "I was gone for many years, but coming back I still see the same kind of generosity that I experienced here as someone growing up in Summerside."

After lobbying for a women and children's shelter for more than two years, and overcoming other delays, DesRoche and Fowler are more than happy to see it take shape.

When the shelter is ready, community organizations will help refer potential residents. However, any woman in need of a shelter is welcome without a referral, Fowler said.

"If someone comes to our door, and knocks on our door, we are not going to leave them out in the cold."

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