Margaret Laurence House (MLH) is a community-based second stage program which provides housing support, counselling and advocacy to women who have experienced abuse in their intimate relationships. Women will be considered for admission through self-referral or referral from other agencies.
The program is named after Margaret Laurence, a Canadian author who wrote about women’s experience with a strong feminist voice. Our program philosophy reflects this feminist voice with the belief that all individuals have a basic human right to live in a non-violent world. Our role is to provide a safe place where women’s values are accepted and respected. In keeping with this philosophy, we believe women have the right to direct their own lives. As a result they determine the extent of their involvement in the program and can access support as needed. Support available includes advocacy and referrals, individual counselling, and group support structured around topics chosen by residents. The program is supported mainly by the Stopping the Violence Branch of the Ministry of Community Services and by rental income, with a total annual budget of approximately $100,000 (see attached financial statements).
The program has two components. The residential program offers temporary accommodation for up to one year in 6 townhouse units in a confidential location with the opportunity to access support while making plans for the future. The outreach program was started in 2003 to address the needs of women for whom housing at MLH was not immediately available and for women who are no longer living at MLH but may still need to access support and counselling during the transition. Women in the outreach program are provided with similar services to women living at MLH, but may also be offered assistance in locating safe and affordable housing.