Mission and vision

Mission statement

Harmony House is a second-stage shelter for women and their children who are survivors of violence. We provide a transitional period from crisis shelter services to independent living in the community. At Harmony House we provide safe and affordable housing up to one year along with programs of individual and group support, accompaniment, advocacy, and referral.

Harmony House promotes the creation of a world where women and their children are safe and free from all forms of violence and oppression. To that end, Harmony House will facilitate the active participation of everyone involved with us in working towards achieving women’s equality and ending violence against women.


We will

  • Provide a supportive second-stage shelter for survivors of violence and abuse;
  • Facilitate the process and provide necessary support so that residents can achieve independent living in the community within 12 months of entering Harmony House;
  • Demonstrate an overarching commitment to confidentiality and safety;
  • Recognize and respect that the primary responsibility for making decisions concerning hers and her children rests with the women herself;
  • Reach out to women who have historically and are currently being denied access to necessary support and assistance;
  • Promote the empowerment of women in all our work;
  • Raise awareness among the women we serve and in the larger community about patriarchy, misogyny, and their effects;
  • Engage in community and global efforts towards achieving women’s equality and ending VAW;
  • Operate in all aspects of our work according to feminist principles, including feminist principles of accountability, consultation, evaluation, leadership, and power of sharing.

Our beliefs

  • Everyone has the right to live free of violence and oppression;
  • The needs of children whose lives have been traumatised by exposure to violence are distinct from those of their parents;
  • All women and children who have suffered from physical, emotional, psychological, verbal, economic, social, sexual violence, and all other forms of abuse have the right to support and assistance of the community in their efforts to gain control over their lives;
  • Work towards women’s equality is central to the tasks of ending violence against women.

We are committed to

  • Providing services based on the direction and input of the women and children that we serve;
  • Breaking down the barriers that prevent women from accessing the support and assistance they need;
  • Creating an atmosphere that is safe, welcoming, and respectful of differences in value systems and lifestyles;
  • Actively promoting inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our community.

Harmony House is the only second-stage women's shelter in Ottawa.

For 30 years, we have provided safe and affordable transitional housing for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence.

We rely on donations of money, items, and services to provide for the many needs of our residents.

Many of our programs and services are available to former residents.

Women and children in shelters in 2014

  • Women residing in shelters because of abuse 73% 73%
  • Women and children staying in second-stage shelters 23% 23%