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Bryony House finds temporary shelter location

Bryony House supporters and workers are seen during a rally at Victoria Park in Halifax Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.
Bryony House supporters and workers are seen during a rally, calling on management for a new temporary shelter, at Victoria Park in Halifax on Nov. 15, 2019. - Tim Krochak
HALIFAX, N.S. —

Bryony House has found a temporary shelter after being homeless since post-tropical storm Dorian. 

The temporary shelter is expected to open in the next two weeks, Maria MacIntosh, Bryony House executive director, said in a news release. 

“The temporary shelter will allow us to operate at full capacity and it meets a number of the operational priorities based on our Bryony House service delivery model,” MacIntosh said. 

“The thoughtful design of the temporary shelter dignifies survivors by meeting their needs for self-determination, security and connection.” 

The site was selected with help from the Nova Scotia Council on the Status of Women, Halifax Regional Municipality planning and development and fire inspection. 

The temporary shelter’s location is not being disclosed for safety reasons. 

The former shelter’s location on South Park Street, which is 137 years old and has had ongoing issues, closed its doors after being damaged by post-tropical storm Dorian in early September. 

Since then, the Bryony House management team and the board of directors of the Halifax Transition House Association has been on the hunt for a temporary shelter while they wait for a new shelter to be built. 

In the middle of November, Bryony House workers, members of Local 80022 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, held a rally to call on management to find an immediate temporary shelter. 

“Women are being told at Bryony House that they can maybe get one or two nights in a hotel and I’m telling ya, the statistics show that if a woman flees domestic violence for one or two nights, her chances are increased of being killed by her partner,” Colleen Coffey, Atlantic regional executive vice-president of PSAC, said at the rally. 

At the time, MacIntosh said Bryony House is “operating with a full complement of staff” and is “ready to serve women.” 

In early November, the former South Park Street shelter was put on the housing market for $1.1 million. It’s now listed as sale pending. 

Construction for the new building is expected to take 18-24 months.

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