History of Harmony House
Harmony House opened in 1987 in response to a need for safe, longer-term housing and support for abused women and their children fleeing violent situations. This need was originally identified in a five-year study of community social needs in Ottawa undertaken by the Social Planning Council. St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, which was looking to undertake a major social outreach program at the time, took on this ambitious project and brought Harmony House into existence.
The primary service of Harmony House is to provide advocacy and support for women and their children who are fleeing abuse. As part of the support offered, Harmony House provides affordable, safe housing for up to one year. After recent renovations, we also have fully accessible units available for women with disabilities. This allows women and their children the time they require to truly be able to start their lives over again in a safe environment.
Since January 1987, Harmony House has provided safe shelter and support to women and children who have lived there, as well as providing ongoing support to hundreds of ex-residents. Harmony House continues to see examples of the success of its programs in the achievement of women who complete training programs and re-enter the workforce, and who re-establish safe and secure family lives with their children.
This success is seen in the children who are able to grow up in homes where violence is no longer a feature of their daily lives. These children are now able to excel in school as well as enjoy the daily art of living normal, fun lives – the right of every child.