Written by Jenene Wooldridge, WeavEast Fellow PEI
First published at weaveast.com/blog on November 7, 2019
“Everyone benefits when community works together.”
Liz Corney and Brynn Devine, co-founders of Blooming house, saw a need for an all-inclusive homeless women’s shelter in Charlottetown, PEI. In 2012, the only women’s homeless shelter, Grandmother’s house, closed due to lack of funding. Charlottetown currently offers a men’s homeless shelter, a shelter for men with addiction, a shelter for women escaping abusive relationships and one for women battling addictions but none (until now) existed for women who found themselves homeless due to other circumstances.
“What we envision is something that is inclusive, that basically fills the need of the community and gives women a reason to want to possibly get out of a vulnerable situation as well.” — Liz Corney
Blooming House opened an Out of the Cold Shelter in January of 2019 with the help of many generous personal and group donations, the donation of a house by a local church, and provincial government funding through the Housing Action Plan. Blooming house provides a safe place for island women 12 hours a night, 7 nights a week. The shelter offers 5 bedrooms and 8 overnight beds.
They offer much more than just a shelter however; they also provide a judgement-free zone that women can call home at often the most vulnerable time in their lives. The house provides a safe place for women to sleep and begin the road back to independence.
“You’ve taught me a lot and you made me strong — that’s what this house has done for me.” — former Blooming House guest
From January to mid-August 2019, Blooming House has helped 45 different women, for over 500 nights with an average occupancy rate of 90% in the summer.