After four months of being partially closed, Chez Doris has reopened its doors.
“We had to completely rebuild and replace our most southern wall,” said Chez Doris Executive Director Marina Boulos-Winton. “It was really nerve-racking because our building looked like a dollhouse for quite a while. In the end, the repairs cost more than $660,000.”
In addition to the new foundation, the shelter now has new storage space for clothing and hygiene products.
During the renovations, six rooms were unavailable and the women’s shelter was forced to reduce its services.
The respite room wasn’t available, no yoga activities were offered and half a dozen case workers were forced to share an office.
Boulos-Winton says those factors had an effect on its clientele.
“We did lose some clientele because there was reduced space of where to sit and to mingle with the usual group of friends,” she said. “But I think they’ll be back because on our first day of reopening we had 143 different women. That’s a lot. We usually average about 78, it can go up to about 100, but we’ve never had 143 at once.”
During the open house, the shelter held a holiday fair, where volunteers, clients and friends showcased their arts and crafts, which included mittens, holiday cards and stone jewelry.