MONCTON -- Moncton’s Crossroads for Women has helped countless Maritime women and children get back on their feet. But now, the shelter is asking for help in the form of community donations.

Crossroads for Women offers shelter for women and children in Moncton, N.B., who are fleeing domestic violence.

When COVID-19 restrictions were first eased in the city, Crossroads staff says they saw an unsettling spike in people who required their services.

“When the lockdown was released, we saw a huge increase,” says transition house co-ordinator Samantha Lewis. “We were back up to capacity; we tripled our crisis calls in a 24-hour period.”

To try to keep up with demand, the shelter is now expanding, turning former office space into additional bedrooms.

“We currently have 38 beds for women and children, and we’re looking to add between 10 and 14 beds in our admin section downstairs,” explains Lewis.

But the non-profit organization says it can’t complete the expansion alone.

The shelter is asking the public to help with donations of furniture or funds, or to sponsor a room completely.

“The rooms are all going to typically cost between $3,000 - $6,000 per room. That’s for renovation costs; making it up to code for fire safety, and that’s for the beds, the dressers, all that type of stuff,” says Lewis.

Just last year, the shelter had to turn away 91 people.

“Having to tell someone over the phone, ‘No, they can’t come because we don’t have space,’ it’s very hard, and that person may be in a very dangerous spot,” explains case manager Cassidy Sproul. “So with the extra beds, we’ll be able to accommodate more people.”

If you don’t have items to donate, you could always give your time instead.

“We are looking for volunteers to do little bits of the project that could be done,” says Lewis.

“We basically survive off donations and people's help in volunteering,” adds Sproul. “So when people do take time out of their day to donate or to help out, it’s super encouraging.”