Expanded shelter opens its doors in Cobourg

COBOURG, ON, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada and Northumberland Services for Women (NSW) today celebrated the official opening of their new and expanded shelter.

Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland-Quinte West, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); Deputy Mayor of Cobourg, Gil Brocanier, on behalf of Cobourg Mayor Peter Delanty; and NSW Board Chair, Barry Gutteridge, along with guests attended the event.

"The Government of Canada is helping to provide supportive housing in Ontario and across Canada," said MP Rick Norlock. With the opening of this project, women and children in Cobourg can access safe and suitable housing, and build a stronger future for themselves."

NSW provides a safe environment and services for women and their children in crisis as a result of family violence and abuse. The expanded shelter will offer 19 emergency beds for women and their children in Northumberland County. The facility was made possible with funding of more than $480,000 through CMHC's Shelter Enhancement Program.

In addition, the Ministry of Community and Social Services contributed more than $284,000 as well as almost $490,000 in municipal donations, fundraising activities, and in-kind services helped to support the project.

"Congratulations and best wishes to the Northumberland Services for Women as they officially open their expanded facilities," said Mayor Peter Delanty. "This expansion of services and space is, unfortunately, so badly needed by women desperate for a safe haven against violence and abuse. A special thanks to the Government of Canada for their generous financial support and, also, the myriad of volunteers and donors who helped make this dream a reality. Your dream has made our area a better, safer and more secure community. "

"On behalf of the Board of NSW, I would like to thank the Federal Government for its support of this project," said Barry Gutteridge, NSW Chair. "The amount of CMHC funding which contributed to over one third of the construction costs and the timing spurred us to get shovels in the ground early this spring, while we were still fundraising. We would not have the completed building that you see today without the assistance of CMHC."

Expansions to the east, west and south wings of the facility offer a welcoming space where clients can feel safe and access NSW's support programs and services, including emergency shelter, counselling, emergency transportation, a 24-hour crisis line, 2-hour free legal advice certificates, educational programming, and a children's shelter.

Northumberland Services for Women has been offering quality, emergency shelter and support services since their first shelter opened in 1985 at 355 Division Street in Cobourg. In the past year NSW provided services to over 500 women and children.

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.

In 2008, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over the next five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years for new and existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 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.

Disponible en français

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Michelle Bakos, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Beth Bailey, Consultant, Communications & Marketing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (416) 218-3355; Linda Janzen, Executive Director, Northumberland Services for Women, (905) 372-7056 ext. 224; or visit: www.cmhc.gc.ca, www.nsfw.ca


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