Ottawa, ON— Women with physical, cognitive and/or mental health impairments are more likely to have low income and to experience violence—two to three times more often than women without impairments. They also remain in a shelter significantly longer than others—often up to a year at Chrysalis House Violence Against Women Shelter, run by Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre. Previously, some shelter residents struggled to meet their basic hygiene and toileting needs in an autonomous and dignified manner due to bathrooms with barriers and too-narrow doorways.

Recognizing the need for equitable access to shelter space, Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre was successful in receiving a grant of $105,800 grant over 12 months from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, OTF’s Capital Grant to renovate two bathrooms and widen all doorways to make the shelter accessible.

“This provincial investment has helped to make important and necessary upgrades at Chrysalis House,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, MPP for Kanata-Carleton and Minister for Children, Community and Social Services. “This shelter and the Western Ontario Community Resource Centre play a significant role in supporting women who are in need of help and protection. I commend the work of Cristina DiTomaso and her staff who are providing a safe place and essential care and attention for the residents.”

“The upgrades made to Chrysalis House are a powerful example of the OTF’s commitment to driving positive change for all Ontarians,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Chrysalis House plays a crucial role in supporting women and children when they need it most – that’s why I’m proud our government was able to provide capital funding needed to help residents of the shelter, of all abilities, live with dignity.

This project significantly enhanced Chrysalis House. Residents can better meet their basic needs independently and fully participate in the life within the shelter. Residents can now:

  • Navigate the shelter independently thanks to wider doors (38″) with automatic door openers that fully swing open.
  • Comfortably attend to their toileting and showering needs: bathrooms are barrier free, have wider doors, roll in showers, hand-held shower head, lowered floating sinks, higher toilets and slip resistant floors. There is also room for a personal support worker if required.

“The Ontario Trillium Foundation is honoured to support projects like the renovations of the Chrysalis House Violence Against Women Shelter through our Capital grant stream. We are pleased to see that with the improved infrastructure, the shelter is now established as a barrier-free shelter, accessible to women and children with disabilities” said Beth Puddicombe, Vice President, Community Investments, Ontario Trillium Foundation

It is essential that all women and children leaving violent situations have a safe place to live—a place where accessibility makes it possible to live as independently and with as much dignity as possible,” said Cristina DiTomaso, Acting Executive Director, Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre. “Chrysalis House Violence Against Women Shelter serves a high proportion of older women and women who identify with a form of physical or cognitive impairment, trauma and/or mobility concerns. We are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the generous grant that allowed us to renovate Chrysalis House Violence Against Women Shelter to meet the needs of more women.”

About Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre

Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre brings care and community together. Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre connects clients of all ages with services and resources. They are committed to supporting our diverse communities in far west Ottawa by providing and coordinating accessible health and social services.

About Chrysalis House Violence Against Women Shelter

Chrysalis House is a Violence Against Women Shelter in west Ottawa (Kanata) that serves approximately 150 women and their dependents per year. The shelter serves a high proportion of older women and women who identify with a form of physical or cognitive impairment, trauma and/or mobility concerns.

About the Ontario Trillium Foundation

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.   Visit otf.ca to learn more.

Media contact

Heather Badenoch, Village PR, 613-859-8232, heather@villagepr.ca