Tearmann House is a 15 bed shelter that offers support, information, understanding and practical assistance to abused women and their children. Women initially contact Tearmann House through our 24-hour crisis line. Tearmann House has 24 hour staffing.
When a woman arrives at Tearmann House, she is sometimes anxious about the unknown she is about to experience. The staff person who warmly greets her (and her children) will welcome her and immediately try to help her feel at home. Often this means sitting and chatting over a cup of tea. The apprehension soon becomes a feeling of relief and warmth that, at last, there are others who understand what she has been going through. Experiences are shared with other women and special friendships are quickly established.
Coming to Tearmann was nothing like I expected. It is so comfortable and feels like home."- resident
The maximum length of stay at the Transition House is 6 weeks. Information and support is offered while a woman is making her own decisions. Tearmann House is staffed 24 hours a day; therefore, if a woman needs to talk, anytime, day or night, someone is there to listen and lend support. Each week the House Counsellors facilitate group programs and resident's meetings. There are 5 bedrooms, including a wheelchair-accessible bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Each family has their own bedroom although some women coming without children may share a bedroom depending on the number of residents in the shelter. Essentials are provided, such as linens, personal care items and food. School-aged children attend their own school (if possible) or the local schools in the area. Residents are responsible for the daily chores and cooking of meals, and these responsibilities are shared.
The opportunity to realize that we are not alone is the best feeling in the world.”- former resident
Initial contact is most often made through our crisis line. This phone line is staffed 24 hours per day. Callers may choose to remain anonymous as Tearmann does not subscribe to caller ID on the crisis line or any of the office telephones. Women may call when in crisis or when seeking information. Many women call the crisis line to arrange coming into the shelter or request Outreach Services. All staff and volunteers are trained in crisis intervention and suicide intervention. the number is 902-752-0132 or toll free 1-888-831-0330.
There are weekly group programs held with the women at Tearmann House. One group program is based on core topics such as; abuse, the cycle of violence, healthy relationships and safety planning. Another weekly group focuses on personal development and life skills in conjunction with the weekly residents meeting. Groups at Tearmann are educational and a wonderful way for the women to learn from one another and provide support to one another. We often incorporate opportunities for women to express their feelings creatively through artwork.
INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING & SUPPORT
While at Tearmann, Women receive one on one supportive counselling. Women have the opportunity to express and explore their feelings in a safe, supportive environment. Tearmann staff will provide advocacy and assist with completing various forms, court applications, housing applications, etc., as well as navigation through various systems (family court, income assistance...) during their stay. The type of support each resident receives is tailored to their own personal needs. Our goal is to provide residents with the options available to them so they can make the choices they feel is best for themselves and their families.
Tearmann House will supply some craft supplies for those who like to express through creativity. Crafts may be done individually or sometimes as a group activity. If you have specific requests, we will try to accommodate with the supplies available to us.
Tearmann House will also assist with having "Movie Night" or "Game Night" if residents have an interest. We also stay connected with community resources so that residents can be advised of any free or inexpensive recreational/entertainment opportunities in the community.
"I love that there is almost always laughter here! I wasn't expecting that but it feels good to just sit around and have a good time with other people. This is nothing like I expected." -resident
CHILDREN & YOUTH PROGRAM
When children and youth arrive at Tearmann House with their mothers, our Child & Youth Counsellor meets with them as soon as possible to help an orientation to the House and playroom area. The Children & Youth Program at Tearmann offers both structured and free play sessions, which allow children to interact with others in similar situations as themselves, make choices about what they would like to do and discuss their feelings about what has happened to them. Our Child & Youth Counsellor, Stephanie, provides individual counselling, group programs and recreational opportunities for the children and youth who reside at Tearmann.
More detailed information about the Child & Youth Programs is located here: Children & Youth
When women are ready to depart from Tearmann House, they have the option to continue with services through our Follow-Up Program. We also have a Second Stage Housing option available. More Information can be found on our Follow-Up & Outreach page.