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A long journey has finally come to an end. Viola’s Place opened its doors last Friday.

In the fall of 2016, the Life Shelter in New Glasgow shut its doors and since then temporary shelters were in place for those in the county without a home until another permanent shelter could be established.

“We looked at real estate in town here but nothing was suitable,” said Brian Bowden, chair of the Viola’s Place Society board.

After two community meetings about a new shelter and a dedicated volunteer board to put everything together, Viola’s Place Society began a huge fundraising campaign. Following a long search, they purchased the former Life Shelter.

Last Thursday, they were able to celebrate their grand opening after a tremendous amount of hard work by volunteers to fix up the space and put everything together. Bowden added that the group wanted to send out a huge thank you to all the municipalities, churches and individuals that all gave time and money to help the society pull everything together.

Tours were given during the open house grand opening which saw a full house gather to help celebrate the occasion.

“We just wanted the community to come in and get a sense of what has been done,” he said. “I’m just flabbergasted, I’m ecstatic about the whole thing; we just launched out in faith.”

The opening is not the end of call outs for help from the shelter though; to continue functioning the society will continue to need help from the community in the form volunteers — no matter what amount of time people have to give, as well as continued donations of food and money to buy supplies. Anyone who would like to be involved can contact the group via email, Facebook or phone, at 902-752-0550.

“We’re very pleased with the outpouring of support,” smiled Bowden.

Board chair, Brian Bowden thanks everyone for their support on behalf of the board during the Viola’s Place grand opening last Thursday.

INSET: Marie Horton, left, Viola’s Place board member shows Eileen MacKinnon around the new homeless shelter in New Glasgow, located in the same building as the former Life Shelter on Marsh Street. (Brimicombe photos)