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For Immediate Release


Sept. 19, 2008

Ministry of Housing and Social Development




NEW WESTMINSTER – Women and children at risk of homelessness now have access to Elizabeth Gurney House, a new 12-unit permanent shelter that officially opened today in Sapperton, announced Burnaby-Willingdon MLA John Nuraney.


             “Women and children need safe, stable housing and the necessary supports, whether that’s employment services or a hot meal,” said Nuraney. “With our community partners, this Province is helping to end homelessness by providing these services through Elizabeth Gurney House.” 


            Through the Provincial Homelessness Initiative, the Province provided a grant of $549,960 for the development. The Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver contributed $390,000 towards the capital costs as well.


            With annual operating funding from the Province’s Emergency Shelter program, the Elizabeth Fry Society will provide around-the-clock staffing and help residents access a range of services that help women and children at risk. Of the 12 beds, 10 are for single women and two are for women and their children.


            The Elizabeth Fry Society is currently operating 21 units of transitional housing at this location and a women’s resource centre for homeless and at-risk women.  Employment, education, children’s services and volunteer training and co-ordination services are also located in the building.


            “Elizabeth Gurney House provides women and children with the opportunity to access support services,” said Shawn Bayes, executive director, Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver. “It allows women to redevelop and enhance skills related to successful community living and personal well-being.”


            The Province has committed to creating more than 4,000 new housing units under the Provincial Homelessness Initiative. The Province’s budget for shelters and affordable housing is more than $400 million – more than three times what it was in 2001.





Darija Tomasic

BC Housing

604 456-8845

604 374-4534

Shawn Bayes

Executive Director

Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver

604 520-1166 ext. 210

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