Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS

INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES

Family Violence Interventions

Program name:

Watson Lake Yukon Women's Shelter and Transition Home

Organization:

Help and Hope For Families Society

Location:

Watson Lake, Yukon

Target Group:

Women and their children.

Contact Name:

Caron Statham, Executive Director

Phone:

867-536-7233

Email:

director@helpandhopeforfamilies.ca

Website:

www.helpandhopeforfamilies.ca/

Program Overview
History:

This women's shelter was established in 2002. The program expanded in 2011 to include 4 transitional housing apartments. The shelter and transitional housing occupy one site although they are in 2 separate buildings, both of which were purpose built.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To promote awareness of family violence and to empower women, children and men to live without violence; to ensure the availability of a local, community based safe home and shelter for the care and protection of women and their children in the community of Watson Lake; and to end violence in the community by taking a proactive approach, which includes: outreach, education, referral, advocacy, support, information/resources, and transition home/shelter services.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

The Help and Hope for Families Society employs the following traditional and indigenous methods of healing: the provision of traditional food in the shelter and transitional housing programs; the employment of First Nation women to deliver programs; and programs for young children and girls that re-connect them with local Elders and teach them traditional skills such as beading and sewing.

Components of program:

The program offers an emergency shelter for women and children escaping violence, a four unit transitional housing service, on site counselling for women who have been victimized, and parenting and nutrition workshops as well as a play therapy program for children 6 years and under. In addition to this, the program offers a beading group for girls who receive guidance and traditional teachings from local Elders. There is an Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous group meeting schedule and a food bank (which provides access to traditional foods) and a clothing donation depot. The program has also headed up a community garden project for clients to participate in.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility and off site at various locations in the community.

Funding:

Funding is provided by the Yukon Government; the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation; the Government of British Columbia; the Mary Kay Foundation; and the Community Action Plan for Children.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Women Elders and other community members sit on the board of the Help and Hope for Families Society. The staff of all the society's programs are women.

Partners:

All local service providers; the RCMP; other Yukon shelters and the Canadian Network of Women's Shelters and Transition Homes.

Other relationships:

N/A

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

No evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

N/A

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the increased health and safety of community women and children.

Achievements:

The ability of the program to provide for all emergency needs to clients in one space has been a success. The program has successfully garnered a broad base of community support.

Challenges:

Coping with the high rates of family violence in the area. The shelter is almost always full and crisis lines are very busy.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. It is very important to thank community residents and organizations who assist the shelter with food, clothing, construction, equipment, gardening, transportation etc.

Resources:

Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.

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