WOLFVILLE, NS - A $1 million boost to Chrysalis House in Kentville will help offer a new safe place for women and children leaving domestic violence situations.
The federal and provincial governments are each chipping in funding towards the construction of a new facility to serve Kings, Annapolis and Hants counties.
The new transition house will offer programs and services to help women consider their options and determine their future path, said Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison as he made the announcement Oct. 12.
Currently, Chrysalis House offers shelter, outreach programs, and crisis services 24-hours a day, seven days a week, out of a four-story facility that is over 100 years old. According to staff, the old house has a leaky, rock foundation with mould.
Brison said the funding will allow Chrysalis House to go on and be something beautiful in the lives of vulnerable women and children.
"Our government is working hard to strengthen our communities by providing Canadians with safe, affordable housing. Funding for Chrysalis House is emblematic of these new investments to ensure that survivors of domestic violence are able to enjoy a safe and stable environment," Brison said.
Brison added that homelessness is not just a big city issue, but an issue in rural and small-town Canada. This, he said, will give women leaving domestic violence better options.
“You can’t get ahead, even survive, if you don’t have a decent place to live,” he said.
Supporting women and children who are leaving domestic violence is a priority for the provincial government, added Kelly Regan, minister of Community Services and minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia.
"Replacing Chrysalis House will help women and children in the Annapolis Valley get the support they need, and give them hope for a brighter future," she said.
Regan noted that the chrysalis is an appropriate symbol for women trying to transform themselves.
For Ginger MacPhee, executive director of Chrysalis House, the news was welcome. It will help serve as a foundation for a capital campaign called Project Renew.
"We are thrilled to have this opportunity to provide innovative services in a purpose-built space that will enhance supports for women and children who have experienced violence and abuse," said MacPhee.
The province will administer the funds, along with another $25,000 of CMHC funds, she said.
Sharon Cochrane, who chairs the Chrysalis House board, says the organization has outgrown its existing building and programming has to take place elsewhere.
“We’d like to remain in the local area,” Cochrane said. “Having programming space in the house and rent that space when it’s not in use. We want to become a hub for community-related organizations and look forward to a cooperative future.”
Did you know?
Chrysalis House is a non-profit organization that has provided shelter and support services to women and children in the Annapolis Valley for 32 years. Project Renew was launched a couple of years ago and fundraising has been ongoing.
In Nova Scotia, $5.2 million in federal funding will go to support the construction and renovation of shelters for victims of domestic violence and transition houses.