Hay River support centre granted $4.4M for new women’s shelter

Hay River’s Family Support Centre will get more than $4.4 million in funding to help with the construction of a new women’s shelter.

The centre offers a safe space for women and children fleeing violence in the community. The new facility will include 14 transitional housing units.

“The new shelter in Hay River will provide northern women and children fleeing violence a safe and caring home to recover, rebuild, and revive,” Kristine Vannebo-Suwala, executive director of the Family Support Centre, was quoted as saying in a Thursday press release.


The federal government will contribute $3.2 million to the project and the NWT government $900,000. Rio Tinto and Diane Haché, a retired Diavik Mine employee who raised funds by selling copper wires previously used at the mine, donated $310,000.

The new shelter will offer in-house programs and services delivered by community members related to trauma recovery, abuse education and prevention and life skills.

Territorial health minister Julie Green said in a Thursday news release that women in the NWT experience family violence at the second highest levels in Canada.

“Shelters are an important place for women and children fleeing violence to receive emotional support, advocacy and referrals to other resources,” she said in a statement.

The former women’s shelter in Hay River was demolished in 2018 because it was deteriorating to the point of being unsafe.


Hay River’s town council approved a development permit for the new shelter in April.

Construction of the new shelter began in July 2021 and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2022.