Vulnerable women and children escaping domestic violence or needing help to live better lives will benefit from increased investment in the organizations that support them. The province, today, May 21, announced $500,000 in additional funding to help transition houses, women’s centres and second stage housing provide more support for women and children. “Government made a commitment to increase supports to help women and children leave dangerous situations and move to safe housing where they can continue to move forward in their lives,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard. “Today we are keeping our commitment and providing sustainable funding so these organizations can continue to provide quality programs and services to more women and children.” Yolanda Pitcher, a single mother who benefited from support offered by Second Story Women’s Centre in Lunenburg, welcomed the news. “The women at Second Story Women’s Centre have been able to help me in all avenues of my life: relationships, boundaries and self-esteem. Most importantly, they have taught me how to love myself,” she said. “Second Story has had a huge impact on my life. Because they helped me on my journey, my growth has helped my family grow.” The province’s eight women’s centers will receive an eight per cent increase, or $15,238 each, to address operating costs. Nine transition houses will receive $16,454 to enhance outreach. Transition houses provide crisis and transitional services for women and their children who experience violence and abuse. Second stage housing helps people live independently, with support to build skills and confidence. Bryony House, a transition house, and Alice Housing, second stage housing, will each get $115,000 more funding to meet the growing needs of their community since these facilities have the highest service demands in the province. “Women who use our services have long indicated a need for more follow-up and support in their communities,” said Pamela Harrison, provincial co-ordinator for the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia. “This new funding for outreach will allow our staff to provide additional and important services to survivors of violence.” Georgia Barnwell, co-ordinator of Women’s Centres Connect, said the funding will help those in need. “Women’s Centres appreciate this increase in funding. It will help to address the rising cost of operations,” said Ms. Barnwell. “We look forward to working with the government to address the ongoing challenge of responding to needs in our communities. It is only through government and community working together that we can improve the lives of women and adolescent girls in Nova Scotia.” Women’s centres provide information, services, programs, support and advocacy programs and services to improve the well-being and economic status of women and adolescent girls. The $500,000 in new funding was included in the 2014-15 Nova Scotia budget.