Women’s House receives funding for crucial building repairs


By Barb McKay

Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey will receive some much-needed repairs after receiving significant funding from the Ontario government.

Community and Social Services Minister Dr. Helena Jaczekwas at the women’s shelter in Kincardine last Wednesday to announce that the province has allocated $125,000 to Women’s House through its Partner Facility Renewal Program. The funds will be used to make repairs to the Women’s House facility’s foundation.

“This is really exciting for us,” said Women’s House interim executive director Lisa Owen. “Our building is sinking. This funding will allow us to make the necessary repairs because we didn’t know where those funds would come from.”

“We applaud the province for investing in much, much needed repairs,” Women’s House board chair Lori Harding. “It relieves a huge burden on us. It allows us to focus on meeting the needs in the community.”

Women’s House provides services and shelter to women who are victims of abuse and their children. The agency was founded 31 years ago and has provided life-changing support to more than 2,000 women, but relies largely on community fundraising and donations to operate.

“You have developed a really welcoming place for women who are going through trauma,” Jaczek said. “What you have here is really remarkable.”

She noted that her visit was for a “nuts and bolts announcement” to provide funding to make sure that the shelter and offices are safe and secure not only for residents but for staff as well. She said the intention was to allow the agency to focus its energy more on helping people and less on trying to fundraise to ensure the building is up to code.

“I know fundraising is a tough job and there is only so much a community can provide,” Jaczek said, “but from what I’ve heard, Kincardine and Bruce County businesses are very good about helping.”

Municipality of Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie was present at the announcement and said she can remember when Kincardine did not have a women’s shelter and women in crisis had no place to go for help.

“Having the professional services available from Women’s House and the housing has made all the difference in our community.”

Eight community service agencies in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties received at total of nearly $700,000 to make repairs and upgrades to their facilities. The province is funding 950 projects at 170 community agencies this year.

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson said she is pleased about the announcements that were made across her riding.

“Ensuring residents can access services when they need them is important, and a large part of that is ensuring the buildings meet modern accessibility and safety standards.Today's announcement is welcome news for everyone. Women's House in Kincardine is receiving $125,000, and the funds will complement the valuable support the organization already receives from the community."