Chrysalis House’s Big ‘Wish List’ Item
By Genevieve Allen Hearn
Chrysalis House is at the top of our ‘nice’ list this holiday season. They not only address a very poignant need in the community by providing shelter to women and children fleeing domestic violence, but they do it all in an aging structure that requires substantial repairs and maintenance in order to meet health and safety standards. For Chrysalis House, Santa came early in the form of one million dollars of federal funding from Housing Nova Scotia in October. This is the first step toward their capital campaign for a new purpose-built space, which will officially be launching in the coming months.
The campaign is called Project Renew and is guided by selected staff members, board members, and former board members. The steering committee envisions a safe, caring, empowering environment, where it is possible to overcome challenges and live free from violence and abuse. The new transition house will remain in the town of Kentville, in or within easy walking distance of the downtown core to provide accessibility and flexibility for its users. There are also plans to include space in the facility that can be shared with other related community services, inspired by a ‘hub’ model.
Ginger McPhee, executive director of Chrysalis House, comments, “In a new purpose-built space we will be fully accessible for all participants, have appropriate facilities that are safe and confidential, that allow us to reach more of our community, and that allow greater collaboration among service providers.” McPhee continues, “Chrysalis House has been most fortunate to have received so much support from the community and funders. We are very excited by the recent announcement by the Honourable Scott Brison, MP, and Kelly Regan, Minister of Community Services, for funding towards our project. While this is exciting, we have much more work to do to enable our dream to become a reality.”
There are many things we can do to support Chrysalis House on its journey. First of all, be sure to stay tuned for news about the capital campaign. Also, during the holiday season Chrysalis House can use donations of funds or gift cards to help continue their important work. A wish list of needs can be found on their website: chrysalishouseassociation.org/index.php/wish-list. McPhee points out that the holidays can be a particularly difficult time of the year for many. She says, “kindness is the most valuable gift we can give. Trauma is prevalent in our communities, and we can all play a role by making it safe for women and children to reach out for help, to allow them choices, connections, and involvement in the decisions that impact their lives. Be willing to listen, offer referrals to community resources, and remember that we all benefit from having happy, healthy, and empowered women and children who feel a connection to their community.”
More information about the Chrysalis House can be found at chrysalishouseassociation.org.