AJAX, Ontario, September 17, 2004 — More safe housing and support is on the horizon for women and their children who are victims of family violence, as 10 new beds are added to the existing 15-bed shelter celebrating their official opening by holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly expanded facility in Ajax earlier today.
Herizon House was made possible thanks to more than $3.6 million in federal/provincial funding including a 1.5 million from the Government of Canada through, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI), and more than 2.1 millions in capital funding from the Government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS).
The Honourable Mark Holland, Member of Parliament for Ajax-Pickering, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing, and Wayne Arthurs, Member of Provincial Parliament for Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge attended today's ceremony.
"The construction of this shelter in a smaller community such as Ajax demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to address housing and support needs for women at risk," said MP Mark Holland. "Federal strategies dealing with family violence and homelessness are helping those most in need at the community level, and Herizon House is a prime example."
"Herizon House plays a critical part of the local infrastructure to address the needs of the most vulnerable in the community. Provincial support and partnership is an essential component of the overall strategy," said Wayne Arthurs, MPP, Pickering Ajax Uxbridge and Parliamentary Assistant, Management Board of Cabinet.
"The completion of our new 25-bed shelter provides a much needed place where women and children in need can seek comfort and support in this area," said Catherine Carney-White, Executive Director of Herizon House. "We could not have realized this vision without the support of the community and the generosity of our funding partners."
CMHC committed $1.5 million to the project through its Shelter Enhancement Program. The Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP) assists in repairing, rehabilitating and improving existing shelters for women and children, youth or men who are victims of family violence and in acquiring or building new shelters and second-stage housing where needed. In addition, $50,000 was provided through the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI) of the NHI for the purchase of kitchen supplies and equipment, and industrial washers and dryers for the newly created facility. The SCPI encourages communities to work with all levels of government to develop new responses to homelessness.
Herizon House provides a place where women and their children fleeing from abusive situations can find safety, support and empowerment. A Police Station is located right on premises, offering the facility and its occupants year-round security. Other services offered at Herizon House include crisis counseling, support groups, housing and legal support, referrals, community advocacy, and programs for resident children.
CMHC is Canada's national housing agency with a mandate to help Canadians gain access to safe, quality and affordable housing. CMHC supports the Canadian housing industry and improves the living conditions of Canadians through its lines of business in mortgage loan insurance and securitization, assisted housing, research and information transfer and the promotion of Canadian housing exports.
The National Homelessness Initiative was launched in December 1999 by the Government of Canada to support communities' efforts to alleviate homelessness. Between 1999 and 2006, the Government of Canada will have allocated $1.15 billion on its commitment to address homelessness.
For further information, please contact:
Angelina Ritacco, CMHC
Anne Machowski-Smith, MCSS
Executive Director, Herizon House
Herizon House front
Ribbon Cutting (Left to right) Bill McLean — Regional Councillor, Pickering, Bruce Wright, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Rick Johnson, President, Herizon House Board of Directors, MP Mark Holland, Glen Copithorn — father of a victim of violence, Pat Perkins — Regional Councillor of the Town of Whitby, Chair of Health and Services, MPP Wayne Arthurs, Dave Ryan -- Mayor of Pickering, Catherine Carney-White — Executive Director, Herizon House, Scott Crawford — Regional Coucillor and Deputy Mayor of Ajax, Chief Kevin McAlpine — Durham Regional Police