Small Ideas: $10,000


Greenhaven Shelter for Women is a feminist organization dedicated to promoting the rights of women and their children through public education, advocacy and social change. Greenhaven first opened its doors on October 4, 1991. Until now this original building has been home to over 300 women and children per year from Orillia and surrounding area.

The original building is no longer a viable location and can no longer meet the regulated guidelines of such legislation as the Ontarians Disability Act, as such, the Ministry awarded Greenhaven capital funds to create a new build. However, the Ministry requires that Greenhaven raise an additional $1 million dollars to furnish the building. The Greenhaven Spotlight Capital Campaign is a community driven project which has members from the community actively participating in the development of this new shelter for women and their children. The design of this project has come about as a result of women voicing what they felt a shelter should be, feel and look like.

Greenhaven Women's Shelter becomes a home and a supportive environment to over 300 women and children a year. As part of the capital new build, the shelter will build a Play Zone. The Play Zone will be a safe and secure outdoor area in which the children of the women survivors of domestic violence can play freely and interact with one another. The Play Zone, like the building is a net new build for Greenhaven.

The Play Zone will become an interactive outdoor area which provides a view of Lake Couchiching, integrates with the neighbourhood context and stimulates the senses of the children playing in the Play Zone. This part of the secured women's shelter is adjacent to the kitchen and cooking areas of the shelter thus allowing women with children of appropriate age to play outside while they prepare meals for their children. The Play Zone will consist of a wood privacy fence to protect children and their mothers, a walking path, a story time amphitheatre, a dinosaur dig, a multi-use play structure, sand play and log climbing gym and an outdoor patio.

The Play Zone will be large enough to allow for social gatherings such as children's birthday parties and social events such as BBQs or other celebrations making this investment versatile and accessible.

In supporting this proposal, the Play Zone will ensure that women and their children can remain in their home community as long as possible and engage in activities of daily living such as outdoor play without the threat of violence. The Play Zone will allow children to interact with their peers and gain confidence and resilience through these opportunities to interact and learn alongside and from their peers. Further, the Play Zone allows for the opportunity for on-site staff and counsellors to engage with children in a play-based manner.

It is felt that Play Zone benefits the community at its core by ensuring that local women and their children can build their confidence and resilience through support and programs to leave violence they are experiencing in their home.

Broker supported

Greenhaven Women`s Shelter

Location: Orillia