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Ontario Hyundai x The Denise House CharityToy donation information:

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In the heart of the Durham Region, The Denise House stands as a symbol of resilience, compassion, and commitment to fostering new beginnings for women and children escaping the shadows of domestic violence. Over the past four decades, this remarkable organization has evolved, expanded, and become a cornerstone of support for those in need. In this blog, we’ll explore the journey of The Denise House, its growth, and the invaluable impact it continues to make within the community.

A Legacy of Empowerment

The story of The Denise House begins in the early 1980s when community members identified a pressing need for specialized services for abused women and their children in the Durham Region. The Women’s Hostel Committee, formed in response to this need, secured funding from the Federal Government for a comprehensive needs assessment. The findings underscored the urgency for a facility offering safe shelter, counseling, and access to community resources for victims of violence against women.

In August 1984, the original shelter, named Auberge, opened its doors on Division Street in Oshawa. With funding from the Provincial Government, the Region of Durham, local charitable organizations, and private donations, the shelter provided a lifeline to those seeking refuge from domestic violence.

The Journey to The Denise House

As demand for their services grew, so did The Denise House. In 1986, a new building was purchased and renovated with assistance from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The expanded shelter, now capable of accommodating fifteen women and children, reflected the organization’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of the community.

Tragedy Strikes, Hope Prevails

In 1988, tragedy struck with the murder of ex-resident Denise Penny. In her memory and as a tribute to her strength and impact, the shelter was renamed The Denise House. Denise’s story became a poignant reminder of the organization’s mission—to empower women to build new lives free from violence.

A Growing Impact

Over the years, The Denise House has continued to expand its services and facilities, culminating in a significant expansion in 1991. With the capacity to house twenty-seven women and children, the shelter became a haven for families seeking safety and resources to break free from the cycle of abuse.

Programs for Healing and Growth


The organization’s programs have evolved in response to the diverse needs of its residents. A comprehensive in-shelter children’s program and a community support program have been established, recognizing the ongoing needs expressed by both previous residents and women and children in the broader community.

Why Support The Denise House?

The Denise House’s impact is immeasurable, but so is the need it strives to address. Despite helping 32% more women and children than its annualized funding allows, the organization persists with the goodwill and support of the community. In the past year alone, The Denise House has provided shelter to 178 women and children, answered 1050 crisis calls, offered over 55,000 meals and snacks, and facilitated more than 8,080 safe sleep nights.

Ontario Hyundai’s Community Commitment & How you can Help

Ontario Hyundai proudly supports The Denise House, championing the cause of women and children escaping domestic violence. In collaboration, Ontario Hyundai invites you to make a difference by donating a toy. As a thank you, they offer $200 off on vehicle purchases or $10 off on service with a toy donation. This initiative reflects the power of community involvement, illustrating how small acts, like contributing a toy, can create significant positive change. Join Ontario Hyundai in supporting The Denise House, embodying the spirit of generosity and compassion to uplift those in need.

The Denise House