Halifax women's shelter still without a home after being damaged by Dorian
HALIFAX -- A Halifax women’s shelter is still without a home after it was badly damaged during post-tropical storm Dorian in September.
There were already issues with Bryony House, due to its age, and now the storm has left the facility in a state of disrepair.
While the board is seeking a new location, people who work at Bryony House are concerned that women who need shelter may have nowhere to go.
“Women and children had to flee the shelter that night because of the storm and so, since that night, we are talking about 68 or 69 days now, there has been no shelter in terms of no beds,” says Colleen Coffey of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
“So there’s no beds for women who are fleeing domestic violence. There is nowhere for them to go.”
It has been nearly three months since women and children receiving emergency shelter at Bryony House have had to leave.
Since the September storm, the vacant building has been listed for sale, and workers have been wondering what’s next.
Coffey says tensions are building between staff and the board of directors. Meanwhile, the counsellors who work there are concerned for women’s safety.
“Some of the workers feel that the board is not telling the truth,” says Coffey. “The executive director is allowing, if a woman calls and has to get out of her home immediately, in some cases hotels are being approved, and it is being suggested that the woman could be counselled in the lobby of a hotel.”
The executive director of Bryony House declined to be interviewed, but did send the following statement in an email:
“We have augmented our service delivery model to increase support for women and children during this time of transition. While we are not providing shelter beds, we are ensuring that women are being brought to safety and providing them with the best options available,” said Maria MacIntosh.
“We are working in partnership with various community organizations to ensure there are not any gaps in service delivery, and that those in need have access to secure shelter and resources.”
The board of directors says it is working on securing a temporary location and hopes to have it ready for women and children soon.
An email to CTV News from the Status of Women says it also supports the board as it seeks to relocate the shelter.