Media Release

September 21, 2012

Construction Begins on New Labrador Women’s Shelter

The Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation is providing $200,000 toward the construction of the new Libra House crisis shelter for women and children in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC), took part in an official sod-turning for the new facility today.

“Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation is proud to be a supporting partner with Libra House on this project,” said Minister Hedderson. “One of the greatest issues facing victims of family violence is finding a safe and affordable place to live. This contribution in an investment in the community, and will help Libra House to enhance the services they currently provide to women and children who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.”

Since 1985, Libra House has provided temporary safe shelter and supports for women and children throughout Labrador who have experienced violence or abuse. Libra House offers 24-hour service, seven days a week, and also operates a 24-hour crisis phone line.

“As a government, we are deeply committed to preventing violence against women, children and all vulnerable populations in Newfoundland and Labrador through our Violence Prevention Initiative,” said the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women and lead Minister for the Violence Prevention Initiative. “All women and children deserve to live in safe homes and communities without fear of violence. I applaud Libra House for the important work they do to support women and children so that they may live free from violence and abuse.”

“This new construction is a tremendous asset to our community,” said Keith Russell, MHA for Lake Melville. “The staff of this valuable facility have been providing a high level of service for many years, and I applaud the efforts of Libra House in this new endeavour.”

As a partner of the Provincial Government’s $12 million Violence Prevention Initiative, NLHC recognizes that a lack of appropriate or available permanent shelter may often prevent families from escaping an abusive environment. Since 1991, NLHC has also offered alternative housing for victims of family violence and has helped more than 1,500 families province-wide regain control and rebuild their lives.

“The staff and board of Libra House are extremely excited about this new project,” said Janet O’Donnell, Executive Director of Libra House. “It will provide us with a space that is secure and accessible for women and their children who are seeking safe refuge from relationship violence. We are grateful to NLHC for their ongoing support over the years and for their support of this project in particular.”

A Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador – Secure Foundations, released by the Provincial Government in August 2009, outlines a 10-year vision for social housing. It is aimed at improving the housing circumstances of low-income households and helping create healthier communities.

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Media contacts:

Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 699-0470
Tracey Boland
Communications Specialist
Women’s Policy Office
709-729-6225, 693-7938 

Jenny Bowring
Manager, Communications
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation

Janet O’Donnell
Executive Director, Libra House
Happy Valley-Goose Bay
(709) 896-8022