A local women’s shelter is helping to pick up the pieces after a fire tore through the city’s only other shelter for women last month.

Adsum for Women and Children — based in Halifax, Dartmouth and Lakeside —has taken on the immediate need arising from the blaze at Barry House on Gottingen Street.

“Anyone in town who is looking for shelter will now come to us,” said Adsum director of development Ellen Helmke.


Adsum took on up to 10 women from Barry House, opening up couches to sleep on and rejigging rooms to accommodate extra people.

“We’re over capacity,” Helmke said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to be, but it’s going to take some time (to make the repairs).”

A message on the answering machine of Barry House, which is operated by the Saint Leonard’s Society of Nova Scotia, says the shelter is now closed indefinitely due to the fire.

Due to the increased demand at Adsum, Helmke is asking the community for help. They need personal care items like towels, combs and hair brushes, female hygiene products, underwear and flip-flops. And of course, monetary donations are always welcome.

“They were again homeless as they were before,” Helmke said. “Brutal.”

Halifax regional fire spokesman Mike LeRue said trucks responded to the blaze at 2706 Gottingen Street at 12:40 a.m. May 16. One person had to be assisted out of the historic home, but there were no injuries. LeRue said the fire is still under investigation.

Latest From ...