Media Release

September 27, 2012

Iris Kirby House Support Continues with $25,000 Annual Fundraiser Donation

The Iris Kirby House shelter for women received a boost from Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) at its annual fundraiser in St. John’s last night (Wednesday, September 26.) The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for NLHC, presented the Iris Kirby House Foundation with a $25,000 donation toward the shelter’s planned expansion project.

“Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation is a proud partner of Iris Kirby House, and a proud supporter of the volunteers, partners, and staff who do such great work with the organization,” said Minister Hedderson. “Our government continues to build its relationship with Iris Kirby House through Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, and with this contribution, we are investing in its long-term goal of expanding support to women in vulnerable circumstances.”

The Iris Kirby House Foundation aims to raise $400,000 in support of its Up & Out project to expand the women’s crisis shelter facility in St. John’s.

“Our government remains committed to preventing violence against women, children and all vulnerable populations in the province through our $12 million 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 commend the work of the staff and volunteers of the Iris Kirby House who play a vital role in assisting women and children as they move towards a life free of violence and abuse.”

Iris Kirby House was the province’s first shelter for women, and since 1981 has provided critical support, distress lines, public education and crisis intervention to women and their children. Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation has worked with the facility since 1990 when the housing authority first established a Victims of Family Violence Policy, which gave victims of violence first priority for housing.

“In moving forward to meet the demands of a growing society and the women and children who are presenting at our doors, this extension, known as our Up & Out project, is necessary,” said Gail Tobin, Executive Director of Iris Kirby House. “The strong partnerships we have developed with Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation and the province, and their support of the work we do with victims of domestic violence, have been very important to our success.”

The planned expansion will bring total emergency beds to 32 at the St. John's site, for a total of 47 when combined with the sister shelter, O'Shaughnessy House, in Carbonear.

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. Budget 2012: People and Prosperity allocated $25.9 million for social housing infrastructure, including $10.4 million for maintenance and $12 million for renovations and improvements.

Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation is the province’s largest landlord with approximately 5,573 non-profit social housing dwellings province-wide.

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Media contacts:

Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 699-0470

Jenny Bowring
Manager, Communications
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation

Michelle Hunt
Director of Communications
Department of Child, Youth and Family Services
709-729-5148, 725-1593
Gail Tobin
Executive Director, Iris Kirby House