Indigenous women and children fleeing domestic violence will soon have a safe new place to call home, with the help of government funding for affordable second-stage housing.
Joanne Bernard, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, joined MP Andy Fillmore, on behalf of Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, today, March 17, at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre in Halifax to make the announcement.
“Making sure women and children fleeing domestic violence have a safe place to go is an important priority for the government,” said Ms. Bernard. “We know indigenous women need a culturally sensitive approach that supports their specific needs. This unit will help women and children get the support and help they need to improve their lives.”
Second-stage housing is longer-term, individual housing, where tenants can live for an extended time. It offers programs and services to help them transition to independent living.
The provincial and federal governments have committed up to $824,000 for the four-unit development, addressing the unique needs of urban indigenous families. Through this project, the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre plans to provide support services for victims of domestic violence, including counselling, parenting and employment programs.
“The peace of mind that comes with having a secure and stable home is invaluable,” said Mr. Fillmore. “These new units, managed by the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, are another example of our government’s commitment toward ensuring that victims of domestic violence are able to enjoy a safe and stable environment.”
The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre is a registered not-for-profit organization, working to improve the lives of urban indigenous peoples.
“This project is a game changer for indigenous women and children in need, creating a culturally appropriate and safe space for them,” said Pamela Glode-Desrochers, executive director, Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre. “Our organization recognizes that partnerships with the federal and provincial governments help to change the future for all our communities. These projects help achieve true reconciliation for our communities.”
In August 2016 both governments announced investments in affordable housing under the 2016 federal budget, which included support for victims of domestic violence. Housing Nova Scotia is investing $5.2 million in federal funding to support the construction and renovation of shelters for victims of domestic violence and transition houses.