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Souls Harbour overwhelmed by donations after fire forces shelter to temporarily close

Click to play video: '‘Overwhelming’ response at Halifax recovery shelter after fire' ‘Overwhelming’ response at Halifax recovery shelter after fire
WATCH: All residents are safe after a fire broke out last night at Souls Harbour recovery shelter. But their food kitchen, which serves up to 150 people, was unable to serve up their daily hot meals. After a plea went out on social media for bagged lunches, the response was overwhelming. Amber Fryday reports – May 12, 2022

People staying at Souls Harbour Recovery Shelter in Halifax are safe after a fire broke out Wednesday night, but their kitchen is now unable to provide daily hot meals.

The kitchen typically serves up to 150 people.

So, a plea went out on social media for community assistance and the response was overwhelming.

“We brought a variety of different sandwiches, said Grant Wade from the Westin Hotel, who was among those making drop-offs on Thursday.

“We made sure we had vegans and vegetarians covered and brought a couple boxes of chips and hopefully it’ll be enough to help support the cause today.”

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Cedric Toullec, the owner of the Lou Pécou pizzeria on Cunard Street directly across the street from Souls Harbour, witnessed the fire.

“We saw huge flames and at the beginning we were just thinking it was small fire because we just saw the smoke. But then when we saw the flames and the size of the flames, we knew something terrible happened,” he said.

The fire broke out at Souls Harbour on Wednesday night. Amber Fryday/Global News

Toullec hosted and fed the residents of the building during the fire, and showed up again on Thursday with pizzas.

“They have no kitchen and we have, so we’re going to help and support as much as we can,” he said.

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Greg Martell, a volunteer at the shelter, was overwhelmed by the support from the community.

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“It’s just amazing. I don’t know how else to put it, that there are so many people out there that care about their community. It’s amazing,” he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and although no one was injured, the CEO of Souls Harbour has concerns surrounding the six individuals who live there on a full-time basis.

“Where will they sleep? How will they keep their program which is helping them with their sobriety and other issues?” said CEO Michelle Porter.

Souls Harbour hopes to have their kitchen up and running within a week, and their residents back on site in several weeks.

Meanwhile, an emergency fund has been set up on their website. 

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