Today marked the official opening of the new
Rawlins Cross Development. Built at a cost of over $1.6 million,
the Rawlins Cross Development, formerly known as the
W. J. Murphy premises, offers a unique combination of six
supportive housing units along with employment and other supports to a
population that faces significant housing barriers in the community.
The official opening was announced today by
Norman Doyle, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of
the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social
Development. Representing the Provincial Government was the Honourable
Paul Shelley, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, and
minister responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing
Corporation. Also participating in this announcement were Mayor Andy
Wells of the City of St. John’s and Jocelyn Greene, Executive Director
of Stella Burry Community Services.
"Canada’s new government is proud of its
investment in the Rawlins Cross Development – over $1.2 million – and
what it will do to help our region’s most vulnerable citizens," said
Mr. Doyle. "This investment and other similar investments across the
country are a testament to the importance this government places on
helping homeless persons and those at risk of becoming homeless."
Minister Shelley commented on the necessity of
safe and affordable housing for the people of Newfoundland and
Labrador. "We are quite proud to be a part of an innovative project
that will provide people the housing support and opportunity they may
need to get them back on their feet. Safe secure housing is such a
basic aspect of life and yet so crucial to achieving self-sufficiency
and independence. I’m certain this development will prove to be
invaluable to many individuals in our community."
The Government of Canada contributed capital
funding of $1,203,483 for the development of Rawlins Cross through the
National Homelessness Initiative’s Supporting Communities Partnership
Initiative. Additional funding of $300,000 was provided through the
collaborative efforts of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
and Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) under the
Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Program Agreement.
The project also received $140,000 under the federal-provincial
cost-shared Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program. In-kind
contributions were provided to the project by the City of St. John’s.
While the project was in the planning stages, CMHC provided an
interest-free proposal development loan of $20,000.
"This project is a model for our city and
province. It’s organizations like Stella Burry Community Services who
are reaching out to client groups throughout the city, meeting
supportive housing needs in the community. I want to congratulate
everyone associated with this undertaking," said Mayor Wells.
"This is an exciting day for Stella Burry
Community Services. We are thrilled to be opening Phase I of our
Rawlins Cross Re-Development. Phase II will commence in the spring of
2007. Together, these buildings will be the hub of Stella’s circle of
programs and will allow us to improve and expand the range of services
we provide to people in need in this community," said Jocelyn Greene.
"Our development at the former Murphy Premises
not only provides six apartments, it will also be the site of our new
venture into social enterprise with the development of a
fully-professional kitchen and 40-seat café," continued Ms.
Greene. "The café will allow us to provide a meal delivery
program for participants, while it also provides experience to trainees
in the food services and retail sectors where there are so many
entry-level employment opportunities. Next fall, it will open to the
public as a new deli-café for the community. So, the Rawlins
Cross development increases our capacity to serve our people in a
number of important ways."
Stella Burry Community Services is an
incorporated body of the United Church of Canada, and provides a range
of housing, employment and education-related support services to
vulnerable populations in the City of St. John’s. It also provides
transitional and long-term housing and shelter solutions through Carew
Lodge, the Naomi Centre, Emmanuel House and the Rawlins Cross