The COVID-19 pandemic has meant different things to different organizations and that includes Kingston’s Dawn House, located in the west of the city.
Dawn House supports and empowers homeless, vulnerable and marginalized women and now she is also at full capacity. And with overcrowding and the onset of cooler weather meaning more demand for a place to stay, this can be a problem.
“We have a waiting list and we get calls every day from people who want to apply and find out how soon they can get in,” said CEO Maggie McLaren.
“And it’s like, damn it, we’re taking people from two years ago who applied two years ago.”
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COVID continues to add to these numbers. Due to demand, the facility has to expand, and this, of course, costs money. And that’s why the bulk of a public appeal is getting under way in earnest over the next few days.
“We’re looking to have enough money in our capital account to be able to buy a property that we can then apply for government funding, as well as to increase our housing supply so that we can double our capacity,” McLaren said.
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The capacity is currently 16, and to change that they are hoping to start by raising half a million dollars.
“Without Dawn House, I would have – I can’t even think about it.” It wouldn’t have been a good situation, ”said former resident Lisa Larose.
“Maybe I even ended up dying.”
Larose, who is featured in some of the literature for the appeal, can’t say enough about the nonprofit and the work it does.
“There is always a need for a place like Dawn House,” Larose said.
“And just because you’re homeless doesn’t mean you have nothing to contribute to your community or the world. So if you give someone a chance – give someone a little hope – a lot of good can come. “
McLaren says she can’t say enough about the difference between the Lisa Larose who walked through our doors and the Lisa Larose who came out. Everyone involved is hopeful that the Homelessness Non-Discrimination appeal will only add more amazing stories like his.
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