Nova House is a shelter for abused women and children in the Interlake Region of Manitoba. We provide temporary shelter, counselling, support groups, and referral to community resources for women and their children. Interim housing is also available for women and children to use until they become independent.
The Selkirk Co-op on Abuse Against Women Inc., later known as NOVA HOUSE INC., was incorporated on March 27, 1985. We extend our appreciation to the women who saw a need and took the steps necessary to incorporate - Lorna Nash, Doreen Cooper-Thomas, Cheryl Kaziw, Marilyn Randle, and Marlene Sandison. In August of 1986, a new group of volunteers took on the task of ensuring that the services to abused women and children would continue - Phyllis Bergmann, Helen Mels, Linda Hudye-Eblie, Emily Duguid and Vi Henkewich became the Board of Directors. It was also at this time that Waltraud Grieger volunteered for the organization and was offered the position of Executive Director, to pursue permanent funding for the Selkirk Cooperative on Abuse Against Women Inc.
Our beginning was humble - we worked out of a small office on Manitoba Avenue. We quickly realized this small space was not big enough, did not provide enough confidentiality for our women, and most important, it was difficult to house and operate a crisis line at this location. Our next move was to Main Street, where we were able to rent space for individual and group counselling and house the volunteer operated crisis line.
The vision of the Board of Directors and the Executive Director led the Selkirk Cooperative on Abuse Against Women on a new path to pursue the acquisition of a faculty that would allow the provision of residential services including short term crisis accommodation, individual and group counselling, a crisis line service and referrals to appropriate community resources. This was no easy task, but women have a proven record of taking on the impossible and making it happen. The timing was right on - a new courthouse was being built and several houses were being moved to make room for the new facility. A house was purchased for one dollar and with the cooperation of Manitoba Housing, NOVA HOUSE INC. was opened on March 15, 1987. We were now able to provide a continuum of services to abused women and children in the Interlake Region. Our grand opening was on August 5, 1987.
As awareness and education were provided, the need for services increased and we negotiated an addition to the existing shelter. Barely completed, we still had limited space for non-residential services, counselling and groups. The Board of Directors decided to pursue a larger facility with Manitoba Housing. It was through the cooperation of the provincial and federal governments, that we had dollars allocated for a larger shelter. In October of 1994, we moved into our current facility. It is a place of serenity, peace and genuine caring, for our clients. We recognize and strive towards a goal of ensuring that our shelter can meet the unique needs of every client in a way that empowers them and starts their healing process.
NOVA HOUSE INC. also manages two interim housing units in the Selkirk area that provide housing for women when they leave the shelter but are not ready to set up independent living within the community. We have come a long way and have a long way to travel to achieve a community that is made up of families that are violence free.
To provide women and children in the Interlake and North Eastman Regions with facilities, programs and a continuum of service to protect and empower them against all forms of domestic violence.
To create an awareness through public education of the abuse of women in our socieity.
Goals and Objectives
1. To promote awareness that violence does exist in families, and that abuse (physical, emotional, psychological, sexual and financial), is a crime.
2. To develop and provide a full range of support services in the hope of intervening in the cycle of violence within the family.
3. To provide help and support, through community resources, to family members involved in the violence.
4. To implement voluntary programs and services, free of charge, designed to meet the needs of people regardless of age, race, faith, socio-economic status, physical or mental capabilities, or sexual orientation.