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LETTERS: Bryony House problems preventable

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For sure, Bryony House should not be facing the issues it currently does, and I have no doubt that some women are in danger as a result of damage to the Halifax women's shelter. That is not acceptable.

Lessons need to be learned, and I am not going to point fingers. I do have a question, though: How many of the currently supportive public would have been ready to support preventative maintenance measures before post-tropical storm Dorian hit?

I don’t know what the board and/or staff did to avoid the problem. I do know that too many members of the public prefer to criticize rather than to share responsibility for beneficial programs. After all, that takes work, money, and one runs the risk of making mistakes. We all need to ask ourselves what we could have done to avoid this potential tragedy. It’s always easier to look good than to do good.

John Sollows, Yarmouth

Bryony House strategy flawed

Domestic violence is a problem we as a community have to face. Until recently, Halifax had a shelter for women and children fleeing domestic abuse. Sometime after hurricane Dorian, the board of directors decided to close down the building and put it up for sale. Halifax has now been without the Bryony House facility (24 beds, living spaces for women and children) for over two months. Construction of a new building is supposed to start at some point soon. From then, it will probably be two years until it is operational. In the meantime, the search for a temporary shelter is on.

This is an emergency situation.

If the decision to close down the building was made on financial grounds, what was the reasoning? The shelter had 24 beds, and the required security systems, fire escapes, etc., were in place. The maintenance issues were known for a while, and hurricane damage necessitated additional repairs. Investing some money in these would have kept the facility fully operational, with 24 beds. It would also have added equity before the eventual sale at the time of opening of the future facility.

Compare this to the cost for modification and rent of a temporary location, likely with a fraction of the number of beds, for two years or longer, if construction gets behind schedule.

Where are the priorities for us as a community?

Friedemann Brauer, Halifax

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