Evelyn Rae Purdy Pollard

Evelyn Rae Purdy Pollard, S.C.

Doctor of Letters

Sister Evelyn Pollard, a member of the Sisters of Charity, was volunteering with Covenant House in New York when she decided to turn her attention to the needs of people in Nova Scotia, her home province. Soon after her return in 1981, Sister Pollard and her colleagues brought new meaning to the phrase, Charity begins at home. In 1981, in an effort to show Haligonians that there was a need for women's shelters, Sister Pollard and her housemates opened their home on Windsor Street to homeless women. Soon, agencies were sending women to them ?in increasing numbers.

Sister Pollard and her colleagues joined forces with parishioners from St. Peters Church. Together, they negotiated a $1 per year lease for Hawkins House, which later became known as Adsum House, which serves as a short-term emergency shelter for women 16 years of age and over. Sister Pollard's efforts in establishing and helping to run Adsum House were celebrated in 1985, when she received a Certificate of Recognition from the Halifax YWCA.

During the early 1980's, she helped to establish the Metro Food Bank; was a member of the Homeless Network Committee; and participated as a committee member looking into the establishment of a support service for women prostitutes.

During the fall of 1983, Sister Pollard widened her activities to include the needs of youth. She became a founding member and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for Pheonix House, a long-term co-ed facility for homeless youth.

Sister Pollard moved to Boston in 1986 to work on a day program for the homeless, but returned to Halifax in 1990. Since then she has continued to work with community outreach programs.

She is now working as a clinical social worker in Dartmouth, but still finds the time to maintain some volunteer activities. She is currently working with a Phoenix House committee to open a resource centre for young men and women.