Hope Haven turns two

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From left, Wendwesen Biru, Brian Patterson, Bryce Ball and Mike Kenny celebrate the fact Chatham Hope Haven men’s shelter has turned two recently. All agreed that they appreciated the work of the haven and were thankful for the chance to be able to stay at the mission and sleep on the beds provided.

At Chatham Hope Haven, clients and volunteers celebrated two years in operation recently.

The staff who supervise in the evenings are all volunteers.

There are more than 70 men and women who give their time in various ways to assist the homeless at Hope Haven. The biggest requirement is for volunteers to be good listeners. Often, it is just someone who will take the time to listen, that makes all the difference for the homeless men who find themselves in need of a helping hand.

Wanda Bell, general manager, said the haven received word from the fire department and city building inspector that they are officially allowed to have more than 10 men sleep in the building.

The cut-off has been 10 men only for the first two years and often folks are turned away because the haven is at capacity.

“Lately, we have been filling up quickly, so this will be a relief as the winter weather approaches,” Bell said in a media release.

She added a great deal has taken place in the past two years.

“When we opened, we had no idea how many men would come, but the number of folks using the service has remained high; 103 came in the first year and an additional 88 this year. It has been a busy place – even in the summer we often had eight to 10 men each and every night.”

Chatham Hope Haven is funded by donations. Financial donations can be sent to the office of Chatham Hope Haven, 183 Wellington St. W., P.O. Box 363 or made online through the website https://www.chathamhopehaven.com/

Any enquiries about volunteering can be made at 519 351-4010 or by e-mail at chathamhopehaven@gmail.com.

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