Investment increasing access to supports in rural and remote communities
Kailie Oortwyn, Office of MPP Laurie Scott
KAWARTHA/HALIBURTON: The Ontario government is addressing the growing strain on services due to COVID-19 by investing $3.6 million to rural frontline agencies. Locally, the YWCA Peterborough Haliburton will be receiving $142,949 to support the Haliburton Emergency SafeSpace (HERS) program along with an additional $8,272 for training initiatives. The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre will also be receiving $55,088 to deliver crucial services and supports to survivors of human trafficking and women who experienced violence.
“The YWCA Peterborough Haliburton and Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre provide services to the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “This funding will help ensure they can continue to deliver supports and operate local shelters during the pandemic, especially for those who are in rural and remote areas and face transportation barriers.”
“Victims of domestic violence and human trafficking require quality and timely support. This funding will strengthen the support our community offers for survivors,” MPP Dave Smith said. “This is part of our overall $307 million, nation-leading strategy to combat human trafficking and support survivors wherever we can,” MPP Smith added.
The additional investment will provide agencies with more resources, strengthen culturally responsive supports for Indigenous women, and reduce geographic and transportation barriers which will significantly improve access to quality care and services to victims in rural and remote communities.
“YWCA Peterborough Haliburton deeply appreciates the support of the Ontario’s Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for their commitment to continued funding for the Haliburton Emergency SafeSpace (HERS) program,” said Kim Dolan, Executive Director, YWCA Peterborough Haliburton. “Now more than ever, violence intervention services for women in geographically isolated areas in the province are in demand. Calls to HERS and the Women’s Centre from women experiencing gender-based violence have increased throughout the pandemic. We are here to help with safety planning, shelter from violence, and supportive counselling.”
“Someone’s location should not act as a barrier to access quality care and services,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “We want to make sure that everyone affected by violence and sexual exploitation receive the supports they need, no matter where they are in the province.”
The ministry will work collaboratively with rural service providers to deliver targeted localized supports and implement projects that build positive outcomes for women living in or from rural communities.