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About Us

Serving the Halton Region community (Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills & Oakville) in Ontario, Canada.

Serving the Halton Region community (Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills & Oakville) in Ontario, Canada.

Halton Women’s Place is an organization providing shelter and crisis services for physically, emotionally, financially and sexually abused women and their dependent children and is dedicated to ending violence against women and their children.

Vision

To be a gateway to safety, support and a future without abuse for her and her children.

Mission

Halton Women’s Place will provide a safe haven, information, and education to support a future without abuse for women and their children.

Values

Halton Women’s Place will:

  • Make emergency shelter and/or crisis services accessible to all abused women and their dependent children.
  • Provide crisis services and information to women and children living in the shelter and in the community at large.
  • Provide non-judgemental, empathetic crisis counselling for all abused women and their dependent children.
  • Design and implement strategies to inform and empower abused women and their dependent children to make decisions about their safety, rights and options.
  • Design and implement strategies to promote and provide public education to end violence against women and children.

Halton Women’s Place is an organization providing shelter and crisis services for physically, emotionally, financially and sexually abused women and their dependent children and is dedicated to ending violence against women and their children.

Vision

To be a gateway to safety, support and a future without abuse for her and her children.

Mission

Halton Women’s Place will provide a safe haven, information, and education to support a future without abuse for women and their children.

Values

Halton Women’s Place will:

  • Make emergency shelter and/or crisis services accessible to all abused women and their dependent children.
  • Provide crisis services and information to women and children living in the shelter and in the community at large.
  • Provide non-judgemental, empathetic crisis counselling for all abused women and their dependent children.
  • Design and implement strategies to inform and empower abused women and their dependent children to make decisions about their safety, rights and options.
  • Design and implement strategies to promote and provide public education to end violence against women and children.

Our History

Our History

In 1977, after the completion of a feasibility study it was  indicated there was a need for a shelter in the Region. In November 1978, HWP became incorporated as a voluntary charitable organization.

Halton Women’s Place opened its doors in Milton in October 1980. In the first two years of operation more than 500 women and children were accommodated and more than 700 crisis calls were received.

In 1989, as a result of a bequest from the estate of Margery Ilene MacDowell, a committee was formed to take a look at the shelter needs in Halton. Another feasibility study was done and the result was to build a second shelter in the Southern part of the Region. In January 1994, a second shelter – located in Burlington – was opened.

From the day it opened it has been running at near capacity and now responding to more than 2500 crisis calls a year.

The need to replace the original shelter in Milton and expand the new shelter in Burlington became evident.

On February 20, 2002, government officials, members of the business community and the public gathered for the announcement of the groundbreaking at Halton Women’s Place in Milton.

This new facility will service North Halton and is the sister facility to the one in Burlington serving South Halton.

In April 2002 the capital projects of the new Milton shelter and the expansion of the Burlington shelter began. Construction was completed and the new 20-bed Milton shelter was opened to serve abused women and their dependent children in January 2003. The expansion on the Burlington shelter was also completed and opened in December 2002.

Major funding came from the Ministry of Community and Social Services, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation and our community partners, Mattamy Homes Ltd., The Aggregate Group of Halton, Rotary Clubs of Halton and The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

In 1977, after the completion of a feasibility study it was  indicated there was a need for a shelter in the Region. In November 1978, HWP became incorporated as a voluntary charitable organization.

Halton Women’s Place opened its doors in Milton in October 1980. In the first two years of operation more than 500 women and children were accommodated and more than 700 crisis calls were received.

In 1989, as a result of a bequest from the estate of Margery Ilene MacDowell, a committee was formed to take a look at the shelter needs in Halton. Another feasibility study was done and the result was to build a second shelter in the Southern part of the Region. In January 1994, a second shelter – located in Burlington – was opened.

From the day it opened it has been running at near capacity and now responding to more than 2500 crisis calls a year.

The need to replace the original shelter in Milton and expand the new shelter in Burlington became evident.

On February 20, 2002, government officials, members of the business community and the public gathered for the announcement of the groundbreaking at Halton Women’s Place in Milton.

This new facility will service North Halton and is the sister facility to the one in Burlington serving South Halton.

In April 2002 the capital projects of the new Milton shelter and the expansion of the Burlington shelter began. Construction was completed and the new 20-bed Milton shelter was opened to serve abused women and their dependent children in January 2003. The expansion on the Burlington shelter was also completed and opened in December 2002.

Major funding came from the Ministry of Community and Social Services, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation and our community partners, Mattamy Homes Ltd., The Aggregate Group of Halton, Rotary Clubs of Halton and The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Land Acknowledgement

Land Acknowledgement

Responsibility of Halton Women’s Place Truth and Reconciliation

Halton Region stands on the traditional territory of the Anishinabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat; now home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

As settlers, we are grateful for the opportunity to meet here and we thank all the generations of people who have taken care of the land and for those who continue today.

As the only women’s shelter in the Region, our Board, our staff and our volunteers are dedicated to our mission to provide a safe haven, information, and education to support a future without abuse for women and their children. We recognize the disproportionate rates and victimization of Indigenous families and communities in regard to intimate partner violence.

It is our responsibility as a leading agency in our community to take action steps in understanding the systemic effects of colonization and how this has effected and increased intimate partner violence. We will continue to consult and work with the Indigenous community as we implement more service and support to our Indigenous peoples.

Responsibility of Halton Women’s Place Truth and Reconciliation

Halton Region stands on the traditional territory of the Anishinabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat; now home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

As settlers, we are grateful for the opportunity to meet here and we thank all the generations of people who have taken care of the land and for those who continue today.

As the only women’s shelter in the Region, our Board, our staff and our volunteers are dedicated to our mission to provide a safe haven, information, and education to support a future without abuse for women and their children. We recognize the disproportionate rates and victimization of Indigenous families and communities in regard to intimate partner violence.

It is our responsibility as a leading agency in our community to take action steps in understanding the systemic effects of colonization and how this has effected and increased intimate partner violence. We will continue to consult and work with the Indigenous community as we implement more service and support to our Indigenous peoples.

Shelter and Information Tour

Shelter and Information Tour

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

 

President, Heather Colquhoun

Heather is a human resources executive currently on sabbatical. In her most recent role, she was accountable for the full talent lifecycle including talent acquisition, equity, diversity & inclusion, employee experience, learning, and talent development at a national construction company.

Heather has a background in social work, organizational diversity and leadership excellence. Her professional understanding of the challenges faced by clients of HWP and her conviction that change is possible with the right focus and commitment guides her work on the Board.

Heather joined the Board because she was looking for an organization with a cause she believed in where she could use her skills and passion to contribute to the community. She is proud to serve Halton Women’s Place and is dedicated to the vision of a life free from violence for the women and children of this community. Heather has lived in Halton Region for 17 years and currently resides in Milton.

To contact our Board of Directors, please e-mail boardchair@haltonwomensplace.com.

Vice President, Leslie Starr-Hemburrow

Leslie Starr-Hemburrow is a healthcare executive and values-based leader, known for being collaborative and solution-oriented.   Leslie is recognized as a strong leader in strategy, quality and performance improvement, change management and systems thinking. She is committed to making a difference and passionate about making our healthcare system better.  Leslie has held many hospital leadership roles, most recently as Senior Vice President, Patient Care at Trillium Health Partners and concurrently, Regional Vice President, Cancer Care Ontario (Ontario Health).  She holds her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Social Work and is a Certified Health Executive.  Leslie is honoured to serve on Halton Women’s Place Board supporting the critically important, essential role of the organization in our community. Leslie has been a resident of Burlington for 30 years.

 

Corporate Secretary, Ayesha Shah

Ayesha studied Public Policy and Management and Philosophy at York University and Queen’s University. She brings more than 15 years of professional experience in People & Culture working with world-class organizations.

Ayesha is a certified HR professional and trained coach who has proudly served as a professor, mentor, and board member. Currently, she is the Founder and Managing Director of C-Potential, a human capital advisory, talent assessment, coaching & development organization that takes pride in capturing, curating and cultivating diverse human potential. Having witnessed a culture of violence against women in her community as a child, Ayesha feels deeply aligned with the mission of HWP.

She strongly believes in the mission of HWP, and is grateful to serve the organization as a board member

 

Treasurer, Derek Payne

Derek is an Associate Vice President of Commercial Credit with FirstOntario Credit Union. Derek joined FirstOntario in 2022 and has been in the financial services industry since 2000, having worked previously for TD Bank in a variety of roles in Business Banking.

He has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Queen’s University and has earned his Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Derek has been a participant in the Hope in High Heels Walk and the HWP Gala each year since 2015. Through participation in these events, he developed an appreciation of the critical role Halton Women’s Place plays in our community and is honoured to now be able to support the organization as a member of the board.

Derek has been a Halton resident since 2002 and has lived in Oakville since 2008 with his wife and two daughters.

 

Director, Julie Cowan

Julie is a Partner and Relationship Lead at Grayhawk Wealth, where she helps successful Canadian families and foundations to achieve their goals as stewards of their values, wealth and legacy. Raised in Milton, Julie values the opportunity to contribute directly to the Halton community.

Committed to helping women and girls realize their potential, Julie believes that women deserve a life free from all forms of abuse and violence. Julie has held volunteer leadership roles with Women in Capital Markets, 100 Women in Finance and True Patriot Love, most recently Co-Chairing True Patriot Love’s all-female 100 km snow-shoe expedition to Baffin Island.

Julie holds an MBA from London Business School (UK), a BA Honours Economics Co-op from the University of Waterloo, and the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

 

Director, Barbara Love

Barbara retired in 2017 after a career spanning over 30 years in the Investment Industry. Her most recent position was Senior Vice President of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA), a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds an MBA Degree.

Barbara spends most of the warm weather months on the golf course, or in her garden , and the cold weather months on a curling rink, or a ski hill. She is an avid supporter of both the Halton Women’s Place Annual Golf Tournament and the Gala.

Barbara is a Director of the Burlington Golf and Country Club (BGCC) and is a Member of its Finance and Curling Committees. She is also Treasurer of the BGCC Ladies Executive.

Barbara was raised in Burlington and has since been a long-time resident. She is honoured to be able to contribute as a Director to the important work done by Halton Women’s Place.

 

Director, Irene Santos

Irene is a dynamic, strategic, and passionate HR leader, known for her strong transformation capabilities, progressive thinking, and ability to create impactful people solutions. She joined TD over 20 years ago and in this timeframe has held various senior leadership roles across the organization.

Irene currently holds a dual role at TD as VP of Global Talent Acquisition and VP of HR for HR. As VP of Global Talent Acquisition, she provides strategic direction to a team of professionals committed to attracting and acquiring a strong and diverse talent. As VP of HR for HR, she is a trusted advisor to the CHRO, supporting the talent management, leadership development and succession planning within the HR function.

Irene holds an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto and is accredited with the Certified Human Resources Professional designation.

An advocate for women and children causes and passionate about empowering women, Irene has been mentoring women in her community for over 15 years. As a mentor, Irene is devoted to helping women realize their full potential and become leaders in all aspects of their lives.

A Halton resident since 2005, currently living in Oakville with her family, Irene is honoured to contribute to the vital efforts made by the Halton Women’s Place as a Board Director.

 

Director, Rufaida Mohammed

Rufaida is the Community Co-Chair of the Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force. She manages a therapy program at a non-profit mental health organization and has been volunteering with a number of community organizations over the years. She is also an Alumni mentor at the University of Toronto. She holds a Masters of Social Work from McMaster University in Critical Leadership and is passionate about empowering people to use their agency to achieve their goals. She and her family have been residents of Milton for the past 10 years.

 

Director, David Vandenberg

David is an Advisor at Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, executing the
growing national Inclusive Play infrastructure portfolio. David has deep roots in
the Halton Region and is experienced in not-for-profit management, government
relations, strategic planning, DEI best practices, and working directly with
vulnerable populations. He has advised and consulted elected officials,
community leaders, and organizations on a wide variety of community
engagement strategies, policy approaches, and fundraising campaigns that have
raised over $500,000 for local agencies. David holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts
in Political Science from McMaster University, a Not for Profit Leadership and
Management Certificate from Mohawk College, and was named a Paul Harris
Fellow by Rotary International in 2021.

Director, Michelle Small

Michelle is a lawyer and HR executive, and over the course of her career has built an expertise in employment law, human rights, employee relations, culture and leadership.
She is currently the Vice President of Human Resources for TD Insurance. She has held HR roles in Employee Relations, HR policy and regulatory compliance, and  labour relations. Prior to her time in HR, she practiced employment law for 15 years at both Gowling WLG and then in TD Bank’s legal department. Michelle is known for her practical advice, broad thinking, authentic leadership, and relentless focus on doing the right thing.
Michelle has a deep passion for social justice, non-violence, and the rights of women and children. She is honoured to be contributing to the work of Halton Women’s Place.
Michelle and her family have lived in Halton for nearly 20 years.

 

Executive Leadership Team

Executive Leadership Team

Laurie Hepburn, Executive Director
905-332-1814
Janice Hamilton, Director Finance & Operations
905-332-1632
Carm Bozzo, Director Philanthropy & Community Engagement
905-332-1585
Jerusha Mack, Manager Community Engagement and Education
905-878-5003
Yvette Drake, Manager, HR Strategy & Culture
Laurie Hepburn,
Executive Director
905-332-1814
Janice Hamilton,
Director Finance & Operations
905-332-1632
Carm Bozzo,
Director Philanthropy & Community Engagement
905-332-1585
Jerusha Mack,
Manager Community Engagement and Education
905-878-5003

Yvette Drake,
Manager HR Strategy & Culture

You have options:

IF YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE
  • Call our 24 hour Crisis, Information and Support Line to speak with a trained Crisis Intervention Counsellor;
  • The Crisis Intervention Counsellor will explore your options with you and support you to create a Safety Plan, along with creating an Emergency Escape Plan
  • If you have pets, you can explore safe options with the Crisis Intervention Counsellor.

If you do choose to come to Halton Women’s Place, you and your child(ren) may stay for up to 12 weeks.  Our Crisis Intervention Counsellors will work alongside you on your personal goals, which may include:

  • Accessing community support;
  • Accessing counselling;
  • Obtaining housing;
  • Accessing financial supports;
  • Exploring legal supports;
  • Any other individual goals.

 

Emergency transportation is available to help you get to the shelter.

IF YOU DECIDE NOT TO LEAVE
  • Call the Halton Women’s Place 24-hour Crisis, Information and Support Line.
  • Our Crisis Intervention Counsellors will offer support, counselling, resources and information.  They will also explore your options.
  • Crisis Intervention Counsellors will also offer to support you to create a safety plan for you, and your children, if applicable
  • Crisis support is available on the phone or in person at either shelter.  No appointment is necessary.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE SHELTER
  • Safe shelter with staff available 24 hours a day;
  • Clean and welcoming bedrooms;
  • Laundry facilities;
  • Children’s Services, including parenting support, therapeutic groups, children’s activities, playroom;
  • Court support for interim custody and restraining orders;
  • Supportive counselling;
  • Advocacy for you and your children;
  • Support in accessing community services;
  • Support groups;
  • On-Going Safety Planning;
  • Planning for departure from shelter

NEED HELP NOW?
CALL OUR 24-HOUR CRISIS LINES

BURLINGTON & OAKVILLE: 905-332-7892

MILTON & HALTON HILLS: 905-878-8555

©2022 Halton Women’s Place. All Right’s Reserved | Registered Charity Number-10746 2558 RR0001

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