MELFORT, SASKATCHEWAN, October 13, 2016 — The Government of Canada, the Province of Saskatchewan, North East Outreach and Support Services Inc. (NEOSS) and other community partners officially opened a new 16-bed emergency shelter for women and children who are victims of family violence. The shelter will serve the community of Melfort and the surrounding northeast area, including Nipawin, Tisdale and Hudson Bay.
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), along with Kevin Phillips, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Melfort, on behalf of the Honourable Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Minister of Social Services and Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, and Louise Schweitzer, Executive Director of NEOSS, made the announcement today.
- Construction of the shelter originally began in the spring of 2014, and was expected to be complete by April 2015. It was about 70 per cent complete at the time of an accidental fire on November 30, 2014.
- The federal and provincial governments, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC), jointly contributed over $1.6 million under the Canada-Saskatchewan Investment in Affordable Housing 2014-2019 Agreement.
- The Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice also contributed a total of $1.1 million over the past three years for the development of the Residential Crisis Services Program which will operate the shelter, and will fund $500,000 annually for the delivery of this program. Annual funding of $299,000 is also provided to NEOSS for delivery of the Family Violence Outreach Program.
- NEOSS contributed approximately $111,000 in cash equity and about $460,000 in mortgage financing.
- The project totals 7,350 square feet, or 683 square meters, including both the shelter area and office space.
- This shelter provides 16 beds in seven bedrooms, and common dining, kitchen, and play areas provide additional living space.
- Office spaces will accommodate two personal violence counsellors, a child care counsellor, a shelter manager, administration, client intake, social service interviews, and outreach services.
“Our Government recognizes the need for local solutions to housing challenges for victims of domestic violence. We are committed to working with the province to help provide safe and suitable housing to families in times of crisis.”
“Housing is a key part of our Government’s overall goal to keep Saskatchewan strong, and we are proud to work with the federal government and North East Outreach and Support Services to help make this project a reality. This shelter will play a vital role in Melfort and the surrounding area and, most importantly, provide a safe haven for women and children who are experiencing interpersonal violence and abuse. While we regret that domestic violence shelters are necessary, we are pleased to be a part of this very important initiative.”
“We are extremely pleased to be part of the official opening of this much needed facility in our community and in North East Saskatchewan. The fact that there is a need for a facility such as this is unfortunate, and that is why the City of Melfort has always been supportive of this initiative. The Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan are to be commended for their foresight and vision with respect to the funding that they have provided to make this a reality. The City of Melfort would like to thank all those involved in making this dream a reality.”
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of North East Outreach and Support Services, I wish to express our greatest thanks. The Federal, Provincial, and Municipal governments, as well as members of our community, have assisted us in so many ways to reach our goal of opening this much needed facility. They say it takes a community to raise a child and the community of the North East has truly shown its commitment to our children. We received our license in June of 2016 and have been operating at approximately 88 per cent capacity since. Each day we have the opportunity to change the life of someone in a better way, and we are proud to say we are doing our part.”
- CMHC has been helping Canadians meet their housing needs for more than 70 years. As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provide support for Canadians in housing need, and offer unbiased housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry. Prudent risk management, strong corporate governance and transparency are cornerstones of CMHC’s operations. For more information, please call 1-800-668-2642 or follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
- In October 2012, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond, which sets out the Government’s vision for a province of 1.2 million people by 2020. The Plan identifies principles, goals and actions to ensure Saskatchewan is capturing the opportunities and meeting the challenges of a growing province. Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested almost $700 million to develop and repair more than 14,600 homes around the province.
- Canadians are invited to help shape the National Housing Strategy by joining the conversation on www.LetsTalkHousing.ca. Your ideas will help shape the future of housing in Canada.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Government of Saskatchewan