Our History

Where We Began

  • Late 1970’s

    Our story begins with a small group of citizens who identified a lack of resources for women and children experiencing abuse in Orillia. They made it their goal to promote community awareness of the issues related to violence against women, They dedicated themselves to providing emergency shelter and full support services for abused women and their children.

  • Barb Green & Marcia Perryman approached the city for support. They received $75 that they added to their own money to rent an apartment for emergency situations.

  • In the 1980’s

    The Orillia Women’s Advocacy Group was established. They began the enormous task of raising funds and support from the community. They began applying for government grants and advocating for women and children experiencing abuse.

  • Project Haven funding application was rejected by the federal government. The group could not receive charitable status as an advocacy group, as they were not yet incorporated.

  • The name Green Haven Shelter for Women was chosen in honour of Barb Green. Her dedication to the community service and family counselling dated back to the apartment hostel.

  • Orillia’s chapter of the Quota Club provided seed money to support the public awareness campaign. The City of Orillia provided office space in the Sir Samuel Steele building for a nominal fee.

  • In 1990

    Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services funded an administrative position to coordinate the capital project. Many groups and individuals in the area began to send in donations to open a shelter.

  • By September 1990, a house was purchased, architectural drawings completed and rezoning of the location was approved by City Council.

  • In October 1991, we opened our doors to women and their children who were escaping violence.

  • In 2020

    Green Haven Shelter for Women designed and transitioned into a state of the art shelter providing residents with comfort and safety for themselves and any dependent children.


Our history is still unfolding.

As of today, we are still working towards the elimination of violence against women in our community. We have made it this far due to the dedication and courage of citizens in Orillia who wanted to be on the right side of history. To be a part of this progress and to help us continue advocating for the rights of women and children to live free from abuse, consider how you might be able to contribute to the next chapter of Green Haven Shelter for Women‘s story.

Learn how you can contribute →