The red ribbon is cut at the grand opening of the new Nova House women’s shelter at the Gaynor Family Regional Library. (Brook Jones/Selkirk Journal/Postmedia Network)
Women and children who are seeking a safe haven from domestic violence now have a larger more robust women’s shelter to seek help.
The opening of the new Nova House shelter was announced Wednesday with nearly 100 people in attendance at an event at the Gaynor Family Regional Library.
Since 1985, Nova House has provided women and children with temporary shelter, interim housing, counselling, support groups and referral to community resources.
“Nova House provides safety and security, often doing so at a time when it is most desperately needed,” Selkirk mayor Larry Johannson said at the event. “It may be hard for many of us to imagine the terrible circumstances that forces people to refuge from a dangerous life and threatening situation. Fortunately there are people and places like Nova House, who are ready, willing and able to respond with caring services to help in the time of their greatest need. Your work is noble and your services are great.”
The new 9,000-sq.ft., $2.9-million building is replacing an older facility. The new shelter can accommodate up to 22 people at any give time and provides not only emergency shelter services, but also second-stage housing. The facility includes 22 emergency shelter beds and four apartment units to help women and children transition back into the community. In addition, the shelter includes recreational areas for children.
“They turned a dream into reality for our community,” Selkirk MLA Alan Lagimodiere said. “Today I am proud to say that we have a state-of-the-art facility with increased space and increased privacy. It’s a safe haven for those who seek refuge from abuse.”
Families Minister Scott Fielding said the province dedicated $1.5 million not only to the facility, but is contributing $186,000 annually for the continued operation of the new shelter.
“It’s a priority for our government,” Fielding said. “Nova House is a life line for people who are looking to escape a life of abuse...It’s important to have these types of resources.”
In addition to the $300,000 funding from the federal government, local residents Jim and Betty Ann Gaynor donated more than $550,000 to help fund the new shelter.
The City of Selkirk donated the land for the new shelter.