The Committee on Family Violence (Transition House) purchased the former Presentation sisters convent on Humber Road. It has not been decided exactly how the 10-bedroom facility, with a communal living area and kitchen, will be utilized.
“We want to talk to our community partners to see what they think is needed,” said Valerie Simms-Anderson, executive director of the Corner Brook Transition House.
“We know it is going to be affordable housing in some way. How it looks in the end, we are trying to determine.”
The committee operates the Transition House — a 16-bed emergency shelter for women and children who have experienced emotional, physical, sexual, environmental or financial abuse.
They also manage five second-stage housing units on two properties for single women who are experienceing challenges in securing suitable accommodations. There is a continuous wait list, and the accommodations were full throughout 2012.
The former convent — which has been named the Nagle Centre as part of the sale agreement (in recognition of Honora “Nano” Nagle, the first Presentation sister to come to Corner Brook from Ireland) — was purchased for $140,000. The committee obtained the full amount through the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
Simms-Anderson said the facility is ideal for affordable housing as it is envisioned.
“They are much needed, that is quite obvious,” she said.
The Nagle Centre working committee will begin its work next month, and the executive director hopes the research can be completed by summer’s end. With minor renovations likely, and a re-zoning through the city a possibility, she hopes a significant amount of the work can still be completed within the next year.
“There is so much potential for a facility like this, and the Committee on Family Violence is excited to develop its potential in the coming years,” Simms-Anderson said.
In the meantime, the facility is still being used as a meeting and training space.