WINDSOR, ONT. -- A local women’s shelter is looking for community ambassadors to help raise $30,000 by the end of the month to support programs for women and children.  

The Welcome Centre Shelter is celebrating its 30 years of services to women and families in Windsor and is looking for help to support family programming.

The shelter’s 30:30 campaign funds will go toward the more than 400 children who access emergency shelter with their parents through an onsite portable office space.  

“With this final push, the program becomes 7 days a week, with more opportunities to maximize the space every day, of every season, for every family we support,” said  Randi-Lyn Miller, the 30:30 campaign coordinator said in a news release.  

The 500-foot space “Pasty’s Place” was named in memory of community activist Patricia Noonan, a long-time supporter of the centre. It was purchased in February through community donations and funds from Noonan’s estate. It is now undergoing renovations to make it child and family friendly.  

“When you’re a mom or a kid who has been confined to a motel room for weeks or longer, every square foot matters; this space is going to be jam-packed with toys, games, programming, volunteers and staff to keep families and kids supported when they need it most,” said Lady Laforet, the centre’s executive director.  

The $30,000 goal is the estimated annual costs for remaining staffing and programming after the $35,000 annual support the shelter received from the Canadian Woman’s Foundation through their Violence prevention Grant.  

To reach their fundraising goal, the Welcome Centre Shelter is looking for donations through businesses, individuals, ambassadors and teams who challenge each other to raise funds.  

“COVID changed fundraising for many small agencies like ours; this is our first attempt at peer-to-peer fundraising but we really believe that our anniversary and this focus on the kids and families is something the community can really get behind and have fun with, and something that Patricia Noonan would be proud of,” Laforet said.  

Patsy’s Place aims to be the first space in Windsor-Essex specifically for families experiencing homelessness to access tailored supports including counselling, safety planning, community referrals and recreation programming for kids.  

The 30:30 Anniversary Fundraiser started Sept. 1 and runs until Oct. 31. So far, there has been $18,000 raised.