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New Nova House Shelter Will Help More Women Fleeing Family Violence

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario, December 15, 2006 — Women’s Place of South Niagara today celebrated the opening of their new, larger Nova House shelter. Nova House provides a safe environment and services for women in crisis as a result of family violence and abuse.

Operating under the umbrella of the Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc., the expanded shelter offers 20 emergency beds for women and their children. The $3.7 million facility was made possible with funding of $2.2 million from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP).

“Nova House will provide shelter and a safe environment for victims of family violence and abuse,” said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. “Canada’s new government values the work of organizations such as the Women’s Place of South Niagara and is proud to assist them in making a real difference in the lives of vulnerable women and children.”

Also, the Ministry of Community and Social Services provided Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc. a $250,000 grant to newly furnish and equip the shelter and to enhance the children’s program.

In addition, the Ontario Trillium Foundation granted Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc. $50,000 for computer and telephone equipment.

To complete the project, the community donated $1.2 million through Nova House's capital campaign.

The original Nova House facility was overcrowded and could no longer meet the growing needs of clients in Niagara Falls and Fort Erie. Further retrofits were no longer feasible due to the age of the building. The new shelter was designed to create a safe, welcoming space with enhanced security and barrier-free features including a lift and wheelchair accessible rooms.

“We are extremely pleased to be opening the doors of our new shelter. The support from our volunteers, donors and community has been tremendous and we truly appreciate the efforts of each individual involved with this project,” said Tom Snodgrass, President, Women’s Place Board of Directors.

Women's Place of South Niagara Inc. strives to empower abused women and their children by providing safe shelter and intervention services, and has been providing quality shelter services for nearly 50 years between two shelters: Welland Centre and Nova House in Niagara Falls. These shelters are the only safe havens for abused women and children in the Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Ridgeway, Welland, Port Colborne, Wainfleet and Pelham areas.

“The opening of this new shelter is bittersweet as it is our true desire that our services would be required less versus more. However, the reality is that hundreds of women and children who have been victims of abuse call our crisis line, require emergency shelter, intervention and transitional services each year on an in-shelter or outreach basis. Having this new shelter will enable us to address these needs, as well as improve the quality of the programs and support we provide,” said Ruthann Brown, Executive Director, Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, receives $100 million annually from Ontario’s charity casino initiative. For more information, please visit

CMHC’s Shelter Enhancement Program offers financial assistance for the repair, rehabilitation and improvement of existing shelters for women and their children, youth or men who are victims of family violence, as well as for the acquisition or construction of new shelters and second-stage housing where needed.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency for over 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country.

Media inquiries:

Ruthann Brown
Executive Director
Women’s Place of South Niagara
905-732-4632 Ext: 223

Cliff Luis
Communications Consultant
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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