Women’s shelter in dire need of funds

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The Coverdale Centre for Women in Saint John is holding a fundraiser to cover the outstanding costs of their 12-unit modular transitional housing project. If they do not reach their goal of $400,000 by March 16, the project will be scrapped. 

(Coverdale Centre for Women/Website)

Centre background 

The Coverdale Centre for Women has been serving the Saint John community since 1975. When the Centre opened, it provided community programming and services to support women involved in the criminal justice system. 

The Homeless Shelter and Community Based Facility (Halfway House) opened in 2007 and offers a mother and child program that serves to “reintegrate women on release with their children”. Their drop-in centre provides programming for food security, support, and case management. 

The Centre operates three transitional apartments called Hope Bridge Home. The apartments have three bedrooms that help women and children as they find secure, safe, and affordable housing. 

Services provided 

All programs provided by the Coverdale Centre for Women are free of charge. Executive Director Mary Saulnier-Taylor says that the programs are “…based on best practices to address and assist in women gaining the skills and knowledge that they identify and want to connect with based on individual needs and goals”. Popular programs include basic life skills, transition to work, healthy eating on fixed budgets, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment. 

Saulnier-Taylor notes that the Centre has been “…seeing the women move forward with a new lens on feeling empowered, finding employment, understanding they are valued and respected, [and] returning to an educational program”. 

Current fundraising efforts 

Currently, the Coverdale Centre for Women is fundraising to cover the outstanding costs of their 12-unit modular transitional housing project. The transitional housing project aims to address and bridge the gaps in Saint John’s housing. The centre has secured two million dollars for the project but has fallen $400,000 short of the required funds. If the Centre does not raise the remaining $400,000 by March 16, they cannot receive a loan on the building as per their contractual agreement. This is why UNB Saint John professor Dr. Julia Woodhall-Melnik started a Go Fund Me to try to help raise the required funds. 

“We are pushing the province to step in. If you are able, please consider writing [a letter] to [the premier] or your local MLA to request their urgent action to save this project.”

How to help

Saulnier-Taylor encourages UNB students to collaborate through research on the current housing crisis and social issues that pertain to the Centre. Moreover, she says that “donation drives are always welcomed as we have seen significant increases, especially in the rising food costs and food insecurity our women are facing”. 

To donate to the fundraiser, click here and for more information about the Coverdale Centre for Women, click here. To find the contact information for Premier Higgs and your local MLA, click here.