First built 30 years ago, the Hoshizaki House District Crisis Shelter has been helping women and children affected by violence since its inception.
Last week Hoshizaki House opened their new facility after the old building was torn down over a year ago.
Presenters at the ceremony were grateful to the community, and proud of the quality service they have been providing the region. Congratulations came in many forms, and from many groups, applauding the dedication and commitment to quality service the Dryden District Crisis Shelter has provided for decades.
An acoustic performance titled “At the Expense of Me” by Shannon Peters, delivered a powerful message to onlookers for the need of support systems like Hoshizaki House, and the ribbon cutting honours went to staff members that have been with Hoshizaki House for a combined total of 80+ years.
Board Chair Dallas Ledsham, was excited to speak about the new and improved facilities and the partners that made it happen.
“We’re extremely proud that this day has finally come, both for the residents of Dryden and the women who use this shelter, and the children that we serve here. We’ve gone from a 3000 square foot facility up to a 8000 square foot facility and are now able to house far more women and children than we were previously, in a much more modern environment,” said Ledsham. “We’ve increased safety in this new building with state of the art cameras and we were lucky enough to be able to demolish the old shelter and keep the same great central location for the shelter. Our main partners were the Federal Government and the Ministry of Children and Community Services. Locally we do lots of work with both, Dryden Police Service and O.P.P., as well as the Northwestern Health Unit, Firefly, the Northwest Catholic District School Board and the Keewatin Patricia District School Board as well. We have staff that work in all of those different organizations and they also have their workers that contribute to the health and well being and learning that goes on here for women that have come to stay.”
The building took over a year of construction, $3.1 million from the Federal Government and $15,000 from Rotary Dryden to complete. Creating the living environment was tasked to those working with the shelter.
“Both the Board and the staff have been doing local fundraising. We were tasked with raising $100,000 locally to outfit the shelter for everything that was not directly related to the infrastructure. It’s been a great support of local people for the shelter,” said Ledsham.