Today marks an important milestone for domestic violence services in South Niagara as Women’s Place officially opens the doors at its expanded shelter in Niagara Falls. The facility on McLeod Road, which had previously housed 20 safe beds for survivors of domestic violence, will now provide 40 shelter spaces and will be home to all of Women’s Place’s emergency shelter beds. Prior to the expansion, the Niagara Falls shelter and the Welland Shelter (Serenity Place, which closed its doors earlier this spring), were home to 30 safe beds combined.
“The 25 percent increase in our shelter capacity has never been more urgently needed,” explains Women’s Place Executive Director, Jennifer Gauthier. “Every year, we have had to turn away women and children away due to a shortage of shelter beds. While we have been able to help them in other ways, for instance by supporting them through our outreach services or referring them to other shelters, we are relieved that when a woman calls in desperate need of a safe space, more often we will simply be able to say ‘yes’.”
The Niagara Falls location will now provide shelter services for women and their children from all of South Niagara including Welland, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Wainfleet, Pelham and the surrounding communities.
The expansion project’s capital donors, local politicians and other key supporters were invited to gather for Grand Re-Opening Ceremony this morning. The ceremony included remarks by Women’s Place Executive Director, Jennifer Gauthier and Women’s Place Board Vice President, Anthony Reitboeck. They celebrated how the community’s incredible support will positively impact the lives of the many more survivors who will be able to find safety each year. Following the remarks and a ceremonial ribbon cutting, guests were invited to tour the facility and ask questions.
Mayor Jim Diodati, who cut the ceremonial ribbon at the event, recognizes that today is a cause for celebration, but also a call to action. “Through the incredible work of the staff at Women’s Place, even more women and children will be served and assisted in South Niagara. We are grateful for the efforts and resources provided which serve all those who reach out in need, but helping is a collective effort. Along with our partners, agencies, neighbours and friends, we all need to work together to build a safer future for women and children in our communities.”
For more detailed information about the Women’s Place expansion project and the donors who made it possible, please visit our Fact Sheet. Media inquiries can also be directed to our Executive Director, Jennifer Gauthier at 905-356-3933 ext. 223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journalists who were unable to attend today’s event are invited to join one of our community tours of the shelter. No RSVP necessary. Please visit Women’s Place at 8903 McLeod Rd during one of the following times:
- June 8: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- June 9: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- June 10: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.