Who We Are
At Open Door Outreach we want to open doors and help PEI women who are incarcerated and addicted experience freedom and real change. Our services help women experience personal transformation. They include personal mentoring, group programs and assistance with transitions into the community post release. We are also responsible for Female Chaplaincy in the Provincial Correctional Centre creating opportunities for engaging with God. Every step in the right direction is applauded as part of the transformation process. Giving back to the community is an authentic outcome of transformation.
Open Door takes the initiative and comes alongside marginalized women on an indefinite basis. Going where there is a need, at no cost or pre-condition, is essential to our mission.
We are an impartial Christian humanitarian organization with all female staff and volunteers who are motivated by a personal faith exemplified by a loving, compassionate and non-judgmental presence in the community.
Women report that their involvement with Open Door Outreach has been positive, beneficial and provides them with hope and skills for a more appropriate future direction.
Open Door Outreach has its roots in coffee! In 1992 the Sherwood Church of the Nazarene began a downtown Friday night outreach known as “The CoffeeHouse” at the CN Pensioner’s Club on King St. and later at the Notre Dame Convent. The CoffeeHouse was successful for many years and was led by Cheryl Millman starting in 1998. It eventually closed on its 10th anniversary, October 2002. Open Door Ministries was co-founded by Cheryl Millman and Wanda Livingston when Wanda was hired in November 2002 to lead a program for women in addictions as well as provide outreach into the Provincial Correctional Centre. In January 2005, Open Door received registered charity status from the federal government and was officially launched as its own entity, distinct from the local Church of the Nazarene. Offices were in the basement of Geneva Villa on Walthen Drive in Charlottetown.
A Thrift Store was opened as well as a large Ministry Centre in 2007 on Allen Street in Charlottetown. Three years later, the store was closed and Open Door moved into a spacious centre at 374 University Avenue with a room to distribute clothing and personal hygiene backpacks and have several offices. In June 2010 Wanda Livingston, co-founder of Open Door passed away. Cheryl Millman remains as original co-founder along with Wendy Hawbolt as original Office Manager. Wendy is now Associate Director and Program Facilitator at the Correctional Centre. Jerika Ramsay was hired in 2016 as a student and became permanent staff as Assistant Chaplain in 2017. Cheryl Millman became Women’s Chaplain at the Correctional Centre in 2016. Other staff: Cindy MacLeod worked with Open Door in the Correctional Centre from 2006 -2014. Ann Visser worked with Open Door from 2006 – 2011 and now works with us as needed in the Correctional Centre for programming.
At our 10 year anniversary in 2015 we re-branded ourselves and updated our name and logo to Open Door Outreach. We feel our new name more accurately conveys what we do for our clients, we reach out to them when they need us most.