Frequently Asked Questions
WHO PAYS FOR MY STAY?
We receive funding from the Family Violence Prevention Branch to cover most operating costs. We also raise money from the community to help.
HOW LONG CAN I STAY?
Our shelter operates on a 30-day stay, but in special circumstances extensions can be arranged.
WHAT KINDS OF ROOMS ARE AVAILABLE?
Family-sized bedrooms are available so your children can stay with you. The kitchen, living room, dining room, and bathrooms are shared with other families.
WHAT KINDS OF PROGRAMS DOES THE SHELTER OFFER?
Nova House offers counselling sessions for you and your children to help you understand the abuse you have experienced and make decisions about your future. Staff may help you prepare a safety plan, and help you respond to different situations like getting help.
WILL I HAVE ACCESS TO A TELEPHONE, COMPUTER, THE INTERNET, ETC?
There are telephones and phone cards available to you. Our regional library provides opportunities for you to access the internet, and a word processor is available within Nova House.
DOES THE SHELTER STAFF HAVE SPECIALIZED TRAINING?
In addition to academic and professional qualifications, shelter staff also receive ongoing, on-the-job training such as dealing with women who have experienced violence, the effects of violence on children, legislation updates, and first aid.
I’M ON A SPECIAL DIET. CAN SHELTERS MEET MY DIETARY NEEDS?
Every effort will be made to accommodate special dietary needs. Please let staff members know about any dietary requirements you or your children have.
ARE PETS ALLOWED?
Pets are not allowed in Nova House. However, shelter staff will refer you to local animal care centres if needed.
DO SHELTERS ACCEPT LESBIANS?
Yes. Lesbians, transgender, and bisexual women who have been abused are welcome.
IS YOUR SHELTER ACCESSIBLE FOR A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY?
Nova House is equipped to help women and children with disabilities.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I LEAVE THE SHELTER?
Before you leave Nova House you will be asked if you wish to receive follow-up counselling. This is usually provided on a once a week basis. You will also be informed of any groups that Nova House is conducting at the time. If you are moving out of the region appropriate referrals will be made so that you can continue receiving counselling in the area of your choice.
CAN I EVER COME BACK?
Yes, you can return to shelter if you need to.
I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH VERY WELL. DOES THE SHELTER HAVE INTERPRETERS?
If shelter staff are unable to speak your language, interpreters will be arranged.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO STAY?
There is no charge for any of our services.
WHAT WOULD A TYPICAL DAY IN SHELTER LOOK LIKE?
Families that stay at Nova are encouraged to eat, and connect with each other. Clients participate in one hour of individual counselling per day. On Mondays and Thursday a support group meeting is held. Women are encouraged to check in and share their stories with each other. On Tuesdays a house meeting is held. In this meeting the menus are planned, questions and concerns are discussed, and special arrangements are made.
Clients are assigned cooking and cleaning responsibilities daily. This provides opportunities to learn about nutrition and new cooking techniques.
Clients share all rooms except their bedrooms. Nova House has a comfortable living room area equipped with a TV, VCR, DVD player, and a variety of movies.
Children’s bedtimes are assigned so that the smaller children are not kept awake by the older ones.
There is a counsellor in the shelter 24 hours a day to provide clients with the support they require no matter what time of the day.
IS CHILDCARE PROVIDED?
Yes. A child activity worker will care for your child(ren) while you are in counselling sessions, or attending lawyers, doctors, housing, social assistance, etc appointments.
HOW DO I GET INTO THE SHELTER?
Once you have initiated contact with Nova House, and have decided to leave your abusive relationship, transportation will be arranged for you. This will be through either taxi cabs, or buses, depending on your location. Shelter staff will ask you to go to a safe public place (RCMP station, hospital, etc) where you will be picked up.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
Shelter staff will ask you to bring any medications you or your children are taking, any legal documents (protection orders, etc), identification, if you have some, and any other small personal affects that you wish to bring. Storage at the shelter is very limited, so please check with staff before bringing large items.
WHAT IF I AM UNABLE TO BRING CLOTHES WITH ME?
Nova House will ensure that you and your children receive the clothes you need in order to make your stay comfortable.
ARE THE SERVICES PROVIDED BY NOVA HOUSE CONFIDENTIAL?
Yes. All information Nova House receives about a person is kept in confidence. The only instance in which information may not be kept confidential, is if it is required by law (i.e. subpoenaed, or there are concerns about child abuse).