Coverdale was founded in 1923 as the Interprovincial Home for Young Women by the Anglican, United Baptist, Presbyterian and United Churches. The Home was located across the river from Moncton in Riverview, N.B. on Coverdale Road. It served as a minimum security correctional facility for women 16 and older from the Maritime Provinces who were sentenced to terms of less than three years. Educational and rehabilitative programs were provided to the women. This home was a pioneering venture in working with women in the criminal justice system.
In 1976 Coverdale changed from an institutional-based to a community-based organization, focusing on intervention and prevention programs, opening centers in Saint John and Halifax. The Coverdale Foundation's Board of Governors continued to oversee the operations in both locations, with the help of local advisory committees.
For several years, in a number of different rented office facilities, Coverdale Saint John offered one-on-one counselling and support, as well as a number of group programs open to all community residents and women referred through the federal or provincial correctional systems, and even a community-based GED class with up to 12 adult learners at a time. Regular programs were also offered at the provincial correctional facility on the Old Black River Road, until the women were moved to the new NB Women's Correctional Facility in Miramichi. For a time, Coverdale was also contracted by Correctional Services Canada to deliver the Woman Offender Self-Management Program (WOSMP), an intensive one-on-one management for women offenders leaving a federal correctional institution.
Coverdale Saint John moved into its present facility in 2005. For many years, 148 Waterloo Street was a home for girls and women run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, known as Euphrasia Residence. When the Sisters were no longer able to operate this home, they approached Coverdale to purchase it, and even helped with a 2nd mortgage to cover the renovations needed to be accredited as a Community Based Residential Facility (CBRF) by Correctional Services Canada. 2005 was also the year that a local Board of Directors was set up in Saint John to replace the Foundation's Board of Governors, which was disbanded in 2006.
That same year, the New Brunswick Department of Social Development approached Coverdale to take on the responsibility of operating a women's emergency shelter. At that time, the apartment at Culloden Court was already being used by Coverdale as a "satellite apartment." The satellite apartment was moved to Roxbury Court in East Saint John and the emergency shelter moved in to Culloden Court. For a few years, Coverdale also operated a youth home in Crescent Valley.
Today Coverdale continues to provide innovative support programs for women in the Saint John area. The Halifax center also continues to support women and young girls experiencing the justice system in Nova Scotia.
We play a vital role in our community by providing education and support, a key crime prevention strategy, and by acting as a resource on issues affecting women. We are recognized as experts in our field, and collaborate in local community development efforts and in developing policy related to issues around family violence, public safety, and women offenders. Our ultimate goal is to make a difference in the lives of the women who turn to Coverdale for help and support.