Whispers of Hope in Grand Forks, B.C. facing closure

Whispers of Hope has asked Grand Forks city council for $10,000 to help keep its doors open.

Mike Robb

Whispers of Hope has asked the city for funding to help keep its doors open.

Lisa Fichtenberg, secretary-treasurer of Whispers, stated the organization has asked the city for $10,000.

“We’ve never asked the city for help before and we at the board feel very strongly that it’s time for the city to step up and help support vital charities that run in Grand Forks,” she said.

“(The $10,000) represents 1/5 of our operating costs.”

Fichtenberg pointed out that most of the funding comes from grants, fundraising and the Whispers of Hope thrift store.

Coun. Michael Wirischagin stated during a city council meeting, “I just want to commend you and everyone at Whispers and their work to the community. I think highly that it’s the responsibility of the city to provide for our citizens, especially those in need.”

Whispers of Hope’s mandate is to supply one hot meal daily for anyone who drops into the store.

“I don’t want to give the impression that we’re closing because we hope it doesn’t happen, but it may have to close this coming winter if we can’t figure out how to get more funds,” she explained.

“Costs of rent, utility and general operations have increased. If funding doesn’t appear through the city or other means, then we’re facing possible closure in November.”

During wintertime, Whispers provides winter coats and blankets.

“It’s for anybody who wants to come in to eat,” she added.

“We also run a thrift store that people can donate to. It helps support the kitchen; as well, it provides for clothing for people who need clothing.”

Mike Robb, project manager and chair for Whispers of Hope, said that he hopes Whispers doesn’t close and is thankful for the support of the community.

Whispers of Hope is open six days a week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and is closed on Sunday.

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