Open Arms is a registered charity made up of a network of volunteers from many different churches, other community groups, schools and other concerned citizens from Wolfville to Bridgetown. Initially intended as a Community Chaplaincy / Advocacy for marginalized people in the Annapolis Valley, Open Arms began to serve many in immediate crises and was established as a Registered Charity in 2004. In response to the need we encountered, we began and operated a year round shelter program for several years, but we now coordinate a seasonal 'Inn From The Cold' program with seven local churches as well as operating Drop-in / Outreach Centers in Kentville and Berwick.
We did not know what to expect when the resource centre became a Drop-in outreach in January 2009, but we have found that vast numbers of people have utilized this service. The Drop-in Centre (now located at 32 Cornwallis Street) has drop-in hours mornings and evening, six days per week (Monday – Saturday) and has 600 – 800 visits each month as well as countless calls for other assistance. It is a place where people can be warm, safe and fed as well as be directed to whichever other relevant community services they are in need of. Aside from those most basic needs, numerous helps and supports are available at the drop-in through the week. Addiction supports, art & literacy programs, job / resume helps, Bible study programs and a community garden project are also available each week for those who choose to participate. People using the Inn From the Cold program are encouraged to connect with our drop-in team for assessment and referrals. Approximately 50 regular volunteers make the programs possible at the Drop-in Centres possible each week and countless others regularly host additional meals and events.
Aside from assisting people who find themselves in the unfortunate situation of being on the street, hungry or lonely, we also provide the following supports:
S.A.F.E. House Program - Developing safe and affordable housing for people in transition. We currently operate a rooming housing with seven beds and hope to expand our capacity.
Prison Ministry / Outreach to youth and adults on parole
Rural Food Delivery Program To Families in Crisis
Apartment locating / transitional & permanent residence
Furniture Bank - Collection, storage and delivery of donated furniture
We are currently seeking more space to compliment our current transition house where we could adequately and affordably house people who are actively seeking help to move forward in their lives. Our long term vision includes a hope to establish a retreat centre where people from all walks of life can go for retreat, rest and healing. Please pray for us in these and all things.
To contact us, please call Open Arms (365-3665 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more information and updates, check us out on online: www.openarms.ca / www.facebook.com/OpenArms.ca