THUNDER BAY - As the Thunder Bay Shelter House prepares to host its annual Block Party in support of the S.O.S. program, money is already coming in thanks to donations from neighbouring communities and individuals.
This Saturday, Shelter House will be hosting a Block Party on George Street in the hopes of raising $50,000 to support the Street Outreach Service.
“We are just encouraging the community to come out and enjoy the day,” said Amber Prairie, a development officer with the Thunder Bay Shelter House.
“They can make a donation if they can. They can make a donation on our website or at our shelter. We have also reached out to different community partners, foundations, community groups asking for money to be dropped off on that day, so we will see what happens.”
The Block Party will include live music, kid’s activities, a dunk tank, a barbeque, as well as raffles and 50/50 draws to help raise money.
But before the party could even kick off, the Shelter House had reason to celebrate thanks to two $1,000 donations courtesy of physician Mario Nucci and Fort William First Nation.
“Shelter House does a great thing for people in the community,” Nucci said. “They do great work and great service. I see it in my jobs with Thunder Bay Regional and St. Joes. They take good care of our patients.”
“I have a friend who used to work for the Shelter House and he passed away,” Nucci continued. “But Shelter House was very near and dear to him as well. In honour of my friend and the good work that they do, I wanted to give back.”
Earlier this month Shelter House announced plans to host the Block Party and while it is meant to serve as a fun community event, it could also help keep the S.O.S. program on the road.
The S.O.S. program operates on a daily basis providing vulnerable people with food, water blankets, clothing, and harm reduction supplies.
The program has been suspended in the past due to shortages in funding. If additional funding is not secured, there may be future suspensions to the program.
“The street outreach is very important,” Nucci said. “They do a great thing. I was talking to one of my colleagues in Emergency who wanted to make a donation to the S.O.S. van as well. I think street outreach is very important.”