Regional services for women in desperate need of affordable housing gets provincial funding.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 19th, 2106



Tempers flare, fists fly and suddenly there is a Mother with two children looking for a safe place to say. Another family is in the process of destroying itself and the net that we call out social network has to be brought in to prevent things from getting any worse.

Diane Beaulieu, Executive Director of Halton Woman’s Place knows the way these things are going to roll out – and she doesn’t have anywhere near the resources she needs to handle the problems that come her way.


Reception area – designed to put women in crisis at ease and assure them they are in a safe place.

My job is a 24/7 operation” she said. And all she has to meet the need is 52 beds and it just isn’t enough; the 30 beds in Burlington and another 22 in Milton are always in use. Beds is making it sound like a flop house – rooms is the better term – but no matter what name you place on them – there aren’t enough to meet the needs.

The woman in the shelter stay there until they can find affordable housing in a safe place. “We plan on having the women with us for six weeks but it often turns into a six month stay” adds Beaulieu. “There just isn’t enough affordable housing in the Regional system and the market for affordable housing in Burlington is priced beyond the reach of most single parents.

Women in crisis go to the top of the list for affordable housing but that still means many months – years in some cases.

The shelter in Burlington was purpose built in 2001 – it is located in a nice setting, tucked away from the mainstream.

As part of a pilot project the province has put up $875,000 in funds into a program that will give funds to women to pay their first and last month rent in private sector housing.

The program is being run by the Region’s Employment Housing & Social Services Division, located at 690 Dorval Drive, 7th Floor, Oakville.

Many feel the solution is to work with the developers who are working close to flat out on more than five different projects in Burlington that are condominium developments for the most part and look for ways to involve them in the creation of housing space that is affordable.  This is a complex social issue and solutions are not going to be easy to find.  Hard to get elected on doing something for the disadvantaged.

Beaulieu has a staff of 52 people who do case work management and operate what is a very tight security system at the Burlington location.


Purpose built in 2001 the 30 room residence is a safe haven for women while they re-orient their lives. The Region could use five more like this tomorrow.

Violence against women is serious stuff – there are women who have lost their lives as a result of physical abuse. The emotional damage to women who are abused and their children is incalculable and it is expensive.

Included in the staffing compliment are four people who do educational work in the high school system

There is a senior police official assigned as the liaison for the shelters.

Along with public education and the need for more affordable housing there is a need for a stronger buy into the needs from the general public.

“We aren’t all that high on the top of mind scale” said Beaulieu. “And we need to be.”

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