Women and children fleeing domestic violence in Cumberland County now have access to a safe place to call home, as Autumn House opens its new second-stage housing unit in Amherst.
Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia and the Status of Women, and MP Bill Casey, on behalf of Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, unveiled the new housing unit today, May 11, in Amherst.
“Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects all of us, and our government is committed to addressing it and helping vulnerable Nova Scotians,” said Ms. Regan. “These two new second-stage housing units will be a great help for women and children in Cumberland County who are leaving domestic violence.”
The new duplex, called Women Who Care Home, will be managed by Autumn House, an organization that provides shelter, counselling and support services to women leaving domestic violence. Tenants will be able to stay for one year, and will have access to programs and services to help them transition to independent living.
“The peace of mind that comes with having a secure and stable home is invaluable. This is why our government is pleased to be involved in the creation of the Women Who Care Home,” said Mr. Casey. “This duplex represents hope of a new life to all women fleeing domestic violence in the Amherst community. We could not be more pleased to have contributed to this project and are inspired by the courage it takes to make these life altering changes.”
“Autumn House has been providing shelter, support and services to victims of intimate partner violence in Cumberland County for over 27 years. We have been excited this past year to see the transition house become a reality and we welcome the addition of this very necessary extension of our services,” said Dawn Ferris, executive director, Autumn House. “The maximum stay at Autumn House is six weeks and this is often not long enough for women to secure safe and affordable housing.
“The two new second-stage housing units will offer extended safe, secure and affordable housing. This brings us closer to reaching our goal of providing safety for women and their children in our community.”
The project was built with funding from the federal government which committed $292,100 to build the second-stage housing unit. Second-stage housing is longer-term, individual housing.
In August 2016 both governments announced investments in affordable housing, 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, including Chrysalis House, Bryony House and the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre. The funding for today’s announcement comes from this broader investment.