Released December 8, 2006

  Official Opening of Rawlins Cross Development

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 Development.


Media contacts:

Lorne Lambert
Regional Manager
Service Canada
Dawn Ring
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Jenny Bowring
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation
Jocelyn Greene
Executive Director
Stella Burry Community Services