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Women and Children to Benefit with New Opening of Libra House

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, NL, May 24, 2013 — The Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador celebrated the official opening of the new Libra House today, a 10-bed crisis shelter for women and children in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); along with the Honourable Paul Davis, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC), made the announcement.

“Our Government recognizes the urgent need to provide women and children a safe place during crisis situation. By providing funding to this project, we are also following through on our commitment to provide safe and affordable housing for all Canadians,” said Minister MacKay. “Our government remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security.”

The $200,000 funding was provided to Libra House in 2009 through the Shelter Enhancement Program of the CMHC-Newfoundland and Labrador Renovation Programs Agreement. In addition, NLHC provided $50,000 through the Provincial Homelessness Funding Program and CMHC provided $20,000 in Seed Funding.

“This new facility will enhance Libra House’s ability to provide victims of family violence with a secure and supportive refuge at a very vulnerable time in their life,” said Minister Davis. “On behalf of the provincial government and Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, we commend the Libra House staff. It is their hard work and dedication to helping women and children that have helped make this safe haven a reality.”

Since 1985, Libra House has provided safe, temporary shelter and support for women and children across Newfoundland and Labrador who experience family violence. Services are available 24 hours, seven days a week, along with a 24-hour crisis phone line.

“This is an amazing milestone in the life of Libra House,” said Janet O’Donnell, Executive Director of Libra House. “This new building is giving us even more resolve to continue providing a refuge and space that is secure and accessible for women and their children escaping relationship violence. We are thankful for the ongoing support we receive from our funding partners.”

The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest approximately $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Newfoundland and Labrador, this represents an estimated 11,400 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642.

Media contacts:

Carol Ann Carter
Director of Communications (acting)
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-1758, 709-631-9505
[email protected]

Katherine LeBlanc
Consultant, Communications and Marketing
[email protected]

Janet O’Donnell
Executive Director, Libra House
Happy Valley-Goose Bay
[email protected]

Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
[email protected]

Jan O’Driscoll
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley