Halifax's Bryony House suffers structural damage after flood
Nova Scotia's government gave the women's shelter $3M for a new building in October
A Halifax shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence is trying to get back on its feet after a flood damaged its structure and displaced its residents.
"Bryony House suffered some significant structural damage resulting from a flood that happened a couple of months ago," executive director Maria MacIntosh said in an email.
Residents were moved to safe places at other shelters, such as Adsum House, Alice Housing and Barry House.
Emergency line available
MacIntosh said staff at Bryony House are still offering its 24-hour emergency helpline, and they're supporting the women who are living at other shelters by providing outreach and housing help. She encouraged women and children who need help to continue to call Bryony House if that help is required.
"Women can still contact us through our emergency line and our outreach program to gain access to supports," MacIntosh wrote. "These services have not changed since the flood."
However, the building itself is in need of help. The house was constructed in 1882, and MacIntosh said as workers began to repair the flood damage, it became clear there were additional structural safety problems. Those had to be addressed before the shelter could safely take in women and children again.
On Oct. 29, federal and provincial officials announced $3 million to build a replacement for Bryony House in Halifax.
The Community Services minister made reference to the age of the building, but the flood situation was not made public at that time.
MacIntosh said one reason was staff were concerned women might think the shelter was closed altogether.
However, support for the 24-bed shelter continues. Participants at an aerial fundraiser planned for Saturday at City Centre Atlantic hope to raise hundreds of dollars — although the performers did not know of the flood at the time they chose the charity.
"I think that it's really lucky then, that we are doing this, because we hope to raise a fair amount of money for Bryony House," said Elspeth Bullock, one of the performers in the show.
The shelter hopes to be fully open by mid-December.