Whispers of Hope is a non-profit charitable organization in Grand Forks who were forced to split their operations and relocate almost a year ago. The final deadline was March 31st 2018 following multiple extensions, and the Benevolence Association relocated as a stand-alone thrift-store; the old building was demolished.

Centre Coordinator Melissa Shulga says operating since then hasn’t been easy:

“Honestly devastating, you know it’s so hard especially with the flood having hit, everything kind of happened all at once, and there we were normally a reliable safety net for people and we couldn’t do anything but just scramble and try and get back on our feet.”

She says instead The Warming Centre has been able to meet the communities needs, so Whispers has been lending a hand:

“They really didn’t have that much they could do in terms of forming a society so they approached us to see if we would be the umbrella organization, if we could legitimize it so that they have bank accounts to flow through, places where we can be paying bills and taking care of the administration.”

Shulga says there are still plans to bring the kitchen back:

“We’ve been kind of honing in on a location, and we’ve signed a lease. Now we don’t have any permits or licensing, there’s renovations to be done, so we can’t even really offer a timeline but just know that we are that much closer.”

She says the location is at the top of the hill on 5th Street by City Hall. The thrift store has been running strong in the meantime thanks to the community, customers, and generous donations.

Click here to read a letter issued by Whispers of Hope recently.