TORONTO, Ontario, December 7, 2004 — In a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, Interval House of Toronto, Canada's first shelter for abused women and their children, officially opened their newly renovated building.
The purchase and renovation was made possible thanks to a total of more than $1.25 million in funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP), and over $4 million in private fundraising through Interval House's capital campaign.
"The Government of Canada is pleased to have been a partner in helping to renovate this building for Interval House," said the Honourable Joseph Volpe, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "While we all hope for a day when shelters such as this one are no longer necessary, our partnership is proof that individuals, communities and governments have the most impact when they co-operate and work together."
In addition, $200,000 was provided by the Government of Canada's Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), administered by the City of Toronto. The Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services provides Interval House with more than $650,000 in annual funding.
"Providing a safe refuge and access to community services is vital to help women and their children who are fleeing from violent situations," said Community and Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, Sandra Pupatello. "The Ontario government is committed to supporting organizations such as Interval House and initiatives that ensure that women have access to the assistance they need."
"Sadly, Toronto needs Interval House. I am proud of the generosity shown by so many Torontonians who recognize the important role this shelter plays in our city," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "I'm sure the renovated building will bring renewed energy to the staff and volunteers who do such excellent work."
Interval House is Canada's first and oldest shelter for abused women and children. Since 1973, it has provided safety, protection and advocacy to more than 10,000 victims of domestic violence. In addition to residential services, Interval House offers group and private counselling, children's therapy activities, court support and post-residence counselling and advocacy. As a result of a successful fundraising campaign, Interval House recently added a Building Economic Self-Sufficiency (BESS) program to their extended services.
"The opening of our new shelter is a monumental step in the evolution of Interval House. Thanks to the generous support of our public and private sector partners, we can now provide more services to more women and children," said Lesley Ackrill, Interval House's Capital Campaign Co-Director.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Shelter Enhancement Program offers financial assistance for the repair, rehabilitation and improvement of existing shelters for women and their children, youth, and men who are victims of family violence, as well as the acquisition or construction of new shelters and second stage housing where needed.
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 mortgage loan insurance and securitization, assisted housing, research and information transfer and the promotion of Canadian housing exports.
For further information, please contact:
Lorne Burger, CMHC
Ministry of Community and Social Services