100 Women Donate Over $11K To Hope Haven

100 Women Who Care present a check to Chatham Hope Haven for the biggest donation in the organizations history since the group was created less than two years ago. June 15, 2018. (Photo by Greg Higgins.)

The biggest donation from 100 Women Who Care’s Chatham-Kent chapter has been given to Chatham Hope Haven.

The cheque for $11,450, was presented to the men’s shelter on Friday and will go towards increasing occupancy.

According to manager Joe Simpson, the facility is only cleared to house ten people overnight, and roughly $27,000 in renovations is needed for the Ontario Fire Marshall to allow more.

“Sometimes I would have up to 23 people who could stay here until 11pm,” Simpson said. “The sad thing is that at 11pm only the ten registered guests could stay the night. If those 13 others didn’t call the Salvation Army or Shelter Solutions to arrange for a hotel room, then they slept outside.”

According to Simpson, many of the men who stay at the shelter deal with addiction and mental illness. He added the homeless only get a total of three vouchers for hotel stays per month and need places like Hope Haven for the other 28 to 29 days.

SimpsonĀ said everything is set up to bring the building up to code to allow more guests, but now the money is needed to put the plan in motion. He added that once complete, the Ontario Fire Marshall will provide a new number of guests that can stay the night, which could be upwards of 40 total.

“If it saves one person from dying out there, it will be well worth it,” Simpson said. “So I have from today to the first frost to get this done.”

Simpson said the shelter needs more food and male volunteers for the night shift to make sure everything runs smoothly. As for food, he said regular items anyone would have for dinner are needed, like hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken. He added they have more than enough pasta though.

“I have about 600 lbs of spaghetti and that’s OK,” Simpson said.

Co-chapter leaders of 100 Women, Quinn Lassaline andĀ Rachel Raspburg, said this is the eighth charity the group has donated to. The program has closer to 11o women currently and has donated a total of $75,000 since its inception less than two years ago.

Quinn said anyone looking to join and donate can visit the website to register. Every member is required to donate $100 at each meeting where a new charity is chosen to give 100% of the money to.

100 Women Who Care’s next meeting is August 29 at the Retro Suites Hotel in Chatham at 6pm.