Steering group plans next steps for shelter

Community Featured

NEW GLASGOW — A steering committee expects to meet often while it devises a plan to re-establish a winter shelter in the area.

The committee added three members during its most recent meeting that drew more than 30 people recently at the North End Recreation Centre in New Glasgow.

Pictou County RCMP Const. Paul Vanderlaan chairs the committee, while Vania MacMillan is its secretary. Rev. Moses Adekola and Karen MacPhee are also on the committee. Brian Bowden, Mark Firth and Nancy MacCulloch were added to the committee, which met following the consultation session to chart its future course.

“The committee will view the information shared by the public,” Vanderlaan said. “We’ll discuss opening a shelter and the other things that need to be done.”

Discussion included the past offer by Harvest House in Moncton, N.B. to help set up the shelter, but it brought up the debate over being a standalone entity utilizing the name and structure of the Moncton facility versus an independent body.

There was also discussion over the merits of a Christian-based structure compared to all faiths or a no-faith component. Despite the options, Adekola said it’s important for future clients to know they are welcome, while also advocating for teaching some life skills other shelters offer.

“We want to give them faithand hope,” he said. “Our goal isto give hope, love and care to
everyone.”

Pictou County Warden Robert Parker attended the meeting and was among those who felt it important to set up a temporary shelter while the search goes on for a permanent solution.
“There are people on our streets,” he said. “There could be a lot of winter yet.”

Also mentioned was the number of vacant buildings there are in New Glasgow and
elsewhere.

Vanderlaan said the committee will be looking at what real estate may be available, determine a name for it and seek grants to fund the operation.

The group is trying to replace the Life Shelter that operated in the Life Centre on Marsh Street before the centre’s board of directors announced last fall that it would be closing due to declining church membership, financial pressures and the resignation of the pastor.

Besides the winter shelter, the centre offered a year-round breakfast program twice a week.


A steering committee added more volunteers to assist its work at a meeting regarding a future winter shelter in the area. From left are: Vania MacMillan, Nancy MacCulloch, Mark
Firth, Brian Bowden, Rev. Moses Adekola, RCMP Const. Paul Vanderlaan and Karen MacPhee. (Goodwin photo)

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