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Currently, Dawn House, a crisis centre supporting vulnerable women who are homeless or marginalized in Kingston, is facing unprecedented levels of demand. That’s the message left with the Rotary Club of Kingston by Maggie McLaren, its Executive Director when she addressed the club on Wednesday November 24th.
Especially, because Dawn House is currently creating 30 new studio suites at 805 Ridley Drive, its second location, it has many needs.  The City of Kingston is leasing the structure to Dawn House and paying for the renovations however, Dawn House must provide the furnishing and find the money to pay the extra staff needed to operate the facility.
Dawn House’s needs have been exasperated by COVID not only in the delays and extra costs for the reconstruction at 805 Ridley Drive but in managing the Milfred Drive property as well. That’s because when someone has been homeless for a long time it's difficult for them to get used to coming inside; they often continue to stay in tents or return, back and forth, for a time. 
The evolution of Dawn House also continues to haunt Dawn House’s need for funds.
Dawn House Women’s Shelter was founded in 1986 in response to a housing crisis in the City of Kingston. There was a 0.01% vacancy rate at the time, and homeless women lost their children. A diverse group of community individuals and organizations contributed to the setup and establishment as a non-profit, charitable organization that would provide a 24-hour crisis line and emergency shelter, with support and resources for women over the age of 16, with or without children.

However, due to funding changes Dawn House Women's Shelter closed it doors as a shelter in 2015. With the determination, fast thinking, and commitment of those involved with the agency, Dawn House was able to adjust and adapt and re-opened in 2017 in a new location providing Transitional and Long-Term Supportive Housing. The first group of women took up residence in the Milfred Drive Dawn House in October of 2017.
The facilities are staffed until 10pm, but there isn't enough funding for 24-hour care. As well, the staff are not generally, personal support workers (PSW) but do some personal care when there are no PSWs available for residents.
Revenue comes from the rent that the women pay, donors, and grants. Grants, of course, are a constant effort. When women are taken in by Dawn House, they can remain up to 4 years, although 1-2 years is the goal.
There are many ways to donate or help. Furniture, security systems, and appliances are still required to outfit the new Ridley building. Volunteers are needed for the directors for the board, committee members, movers, and fundraisers. There is an urgent need for bingo night volunteers.
A wish list is on the website. If Dawn House get an overabundance of one thing, they share it with other shelters.