Shelter Movers Nova Scotia opened its chapter in July 2019 and it started with one person, Brooklyn Pinheiro, who’s the chapter’s operations manager.
Brooklyn started as a volunteer with Shelter Movers in the Toronto chapter. When she was offered the chance to move to Halifax and start a chapter in Nova Scotia, she didn’t hesitate in saying yes. Before she moved to Nova Scotia, Brooklyn did her research on starting a new chapter and included her findings in a report she shared with founder and
executive director, Marc Hull-Jacquin.
Brooklyn worked hard in those first several months to make connections, spread the word about Shelter Movers Nova Scotia, and get organized to serve clients in Halifax. To date, Shelter Movers has completed more than 200 moves in the Halifax area.
“We were fortunate that when coming to Nova Scotia that our reputation in other cities preceded us,” Brooklyn says. “A lot goes into starting a new chapter, such as finding and training volunteers, identifying leaders in our organization and fostering their involvement, gaining trust from referral agencies, working with our new security, storage and vehicle providers, building teams of administrative volunteers, looking for funding opportunities everywhere, and getting the word out in the community.”
Brooklyn’s job includes working with referral agencies and community partners to make sure all of our moves go smoothly. She also collaborates with the operations managers in other chapters, as well as Yael Schwartz, our national operations director, to address challenges and find solutions. Brooklyn is incredibly organized and on top of all procedures, including those to protect our clients and volunteers from COVID-19. But she’s also kind, caring, and supportive of our clients and makes sure they’re the priority of their move.
Marc Hull-Jacquin, founder and executive director of Shelter Movers, says Brooklyn’s openness to move across the country to further the work and mission of Shelter Movers speaks volumes about her personal commitment to the cause.
“Brooklyn now leads a sizable team of movers and drivers who have helped hundreds of women and children in Nova Scotia,” Marc says. “It is inspiring to work with someone who has found a way to combine their many professional skills with a personal passion.”
At Shelter Movers, our clients’ privacy is our top priority: None of our staff or volunteers know our clients’ stories. But Brooklyn sees how these moves make an immediate impact for clients leaving violent homes.
“The work that we do is really close up support: packing belongings, picking up mattress donations, storing belongings so clients won’t lose their stuff,” Brooklyn says. “I’ve learned that these types of specific supports are really needed during this type of transition. These can seem like simple things but they make a long-term difference. I’ve also learned that you can really mobilize a community to provide these supports, that people out there care about this cause and are happy that they can make a tangible difference and see the results of their work.”
The team at Shelter Movers Nova Scotia now includes Kimber Dunphy, volunteer services manager, Lynsey Meisner, marketing manager and communications specialist, and Suzanne Rent, chapter director.
Brooklyn says long term, she’d like to see Shelter Movers Nova Scotia offer its services across the province in what she calls “a sort of train of connected service that will allow someone to flee from Sydney to Yarmouth if they need to.” That service will require the skill and help of more volunteers. As always, Shelter Movers Nova Scotia is seeking new volunteers, so please get in touch if you’re interested in being part of our team.
“Our services are such a tangible way for people to make their community better one person at a time,” Brooklyn says. “If you care about your community and about the issue of gender-based violence so much real work can be done with the skills you already have and there’s always opportunities to learn more and grow.”