Ernestine's Opens Doors to New Building for Women and Children Fleeing Violence



    TORONTO, March 8 /CNW/ - Ernestine's Women's Shelter officially opened
its new and improved building today. The shelter's expansion provides 32 beds
(an increase from 22) resulting in room for an additional 50 women and
children each year.
    The new facility is wheelchair accessible and will be approximately 50%
more energy efficient than the requirements set out by the Model National
Energy Code of Canada for Buildings.
    "Ernestine's holds a very special place in my heart and I am so happy to
see this wonderful new building," said former client Fuseina. "I came to
Ernestine's when my son was just 3 months old. As soon as I arrived, I knew
things were going to get better. I felt so welcome and at home. The staff were
so wonderful - they always had time to listen to me and made me feel valued.
Most importantly, they helped me with my son and showed us both so much care."
    The new shelter opens just shortly after the Toronto Police called 2006
the year of Domestic Violence - noting that 60% of the calls that officers
responded to were domestic violence related. 15 women were murdered in Toronto
by a partner in 2006, up from 8 in 2005.
    In 2006, Ernestine's sheltered 89 women and 50 children. Additionally,
Ernestine's supported over 300 women and children through its Outreach Program
and over 85 women through its Transitional Housing and Support Program.
    "The new building is an important investment in the safety and well being
of women and children in our community who are fleeing violence," said Carol
Latchford, Program Director for Ernestine's Women Shelter. "As more people
speak out against violence, more and more women and children will be seeking
safety and a new beginning. This new building will go a long way in meeting
that need."

    Founded in 1983, Ernestine's Women's Shelter is an organization run by
women that provides shelter and support for women and their children escaping
violence. Located in Etobicoke, Ontario, Ernestine's offers counselling,
support and referrals, as well as individualized service to each and every
woman and child who passes through its doors.





For further information:

For further information: Media Inquiries: Cindy Wagman, Fundraising
Manager, (416) 743-1733 ext. 2015, (416) 985-7061 (cell),
fundraiser@ernestines.ca, Website: http://www.ernestines.ca

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ERNESTINE'S WOMEN'S SHELTER

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