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Annual Report

2021-2022

Annual Report

2021-2022

COMMUNITY:
Better Together 

For over 44 years, Halton Women’s Place (HWP) has built a strong foundation, and even stronger partnerships with the community members and partners. This has allowed us to continue to serve our community, as we evolved to what we are today. Although the past year was characterized by uncertainty and shifting demands due to the pandemic, the overriding theme that helped us move through the year was “Community”. We do not do our work alone at Halton Women’s Place and cannot support women and children without the kind, compassionate and strong community of Halton. With the support of our incredible donors and local champions, we surpassed our fundraising goals, continued to raise awareness about domestic violence, and educated the community on how to support those affected.

This year also demonstrated the strength in our partnerships, including with Halton Region and Halton Regional Police Services, where we strengthened our relationships to enhance ongoing support to women and children. With COVID, we continue to have modified services in-house, and with the support of the Halton Region, we were able to support several women through alternative accommodations, with additional assistance for personal needs. Halton Regional Police Services (HRPS) and the Town and Mayor of Halton Hills collaborated with HWP to expand the Intimate Partner Violence Memorial by launching our first purple bench in Georgetown. This purple bench is dedicated to those who have lost their lives to domestic violence and is a symbol to those who continue to experience it that they are not alone. Additionally, we created a new partnership with Halton Regional Police Services through a grant with the Ministry of the Attorney General, which places a Violence Against Women liaison directly in the station to collaborate closely with the police, increasing the comfort and compassion extended to women exploring legal avenues to end violence.

We remain incredibly proud of how our organization, and especially our front-line staff, the heroes behind the scenes, have worked tirelessly as advocates for our clients through the year. As an organization, we are committed to continuing to ensure that our programs are inclusive, equitable and accessible to all women in Halton. Another priority is to address the issue of burn-out and compassion fatigue within our sector, creating a wellness program for our staff, clients, and volunteers, as well as a new spiritual/wellness space in both shelters.

MORE

Laurie Hepburn

Executive Director

Heather Colquhoun

President,
Board of Directors

Mission Statement

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

Board of Directors

Heather
Colquhoun

President

Leslie Starr-Hemburrow

Vice President

Derek
Payne

Treasurer

Ayesha
Shah

Corporate Secretary

Julie
Cowan

Director

Megan
Gill

Director

Irene
Santos

Director

Barbara
Love

Director

Rufaida
Mohammed

Director

Jerry
Dias

Director

Heather
Colquhoun

President

Leslie Starr-Hemburrow

Vice President

Derek
Payne

Board Chair

Ayesha
Shah

Corporate Secretary

Julie
Cowan

Director

Irene
Santos

Director

Megan
Gill

Director

Barbara
Love

Director

Rufaida
Mohammed

Director

Jerry
Dias

Director

Heather
Colquhoun

President

Leslie Starr-Hemburrow

Vice President

Derek
Payne

Board Chair

Ayesha
Shah

Corporate Secretary

Julie
Cowan

Director

Irene
Santos

Director

Megan
Hill

Director

Barbara
Love

Director

Rufaida
Mohammed

Director

Jerry
Dias

Director

Programs & Services

The Programs and Services at HWP are truly not possible without the outstanding contributions of our community – from our donors, our funders, Halton community members and business owners, our volunteers, our community partners, and of course our dedicated and compassionate employees. 
 
This past year has brought ALL of us together to creatively examine how we can collaboratively work together in new and diverse ways to ensure inclusive, comprehensive, and accessible programs and services. Over this past year, our Emergency Safe Shelter, 24-Hour Crisis Information and Support Line and our Community Services were all grateful to be supported and impacted by our community through collaboration, donations, support, and the further development of the services we offer. 
 
COMMUNITY…. we are truly Better Together!

Amy Marshall

Director,
Programs and Services

Emergency Safe Shelter

Over this past year, our Emergency Safe Shelter has provided a safe haven for 115 women and children. The way we offer support and services continued to change to adhere to public health guidelines, however our dedication, compassion and commitment to offer comprehensive and holistic support to women and children in our community grows stronger with each passing year.

This last year, we explored new ways of working, new programming options, and continued to actively collaborate with our outstanding community partners in the Halton Region. As a team, we will continue to grow our knowledge, skills and abilities to offer comprehensive, supportive and client-centred services.

Bridging Families Program

Halton Women’s Place partners with the Halton Children’s Aid Society (HCAS) to implement the Bridging Families Program that provides collaborative service delivery to women who have been referred to the CAS because of concerns regarding woman abuse occurring in the home. Referrals to the program are initiated by the CAS Worker and services are voluntary. The Bridging Families Worker will work with mothers in their homes, in the community and/or by phone, providing practical assistance and emotional support. Over this past year, HWP supported 73 families and 126 children.
 

24-Hour Crisis, Information and Support Line and On-line Chat

At HWP, a Crisis Intervention Counsellor is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year to support, provide education, provide resources and safety planning, and sometimes most importantly, to listen, as it relates to Intimate Partner Violence and Gender Based Violence.  Our team is available to support an individual in crisis or provide information and resources to someone looking to support their neighbour, friend or family member.

Over this past year, our dedicated shelter and crisis team continued to support our community through our 24-Hour Crisis, Information and Support Line, and our On-Line Chat service, and responded to and supported over 2,233 calls and chats.

Our 24-hr chat is available here →

The Family Court Support Program

The HWP Court Support Program supports individuals who are impacted by domestic violence and are engaged in any family court proceeding by providing information about legal processes in the Ontario Family Court, providing referrals to lawyers and other service providers, offering court and legal appointment accompaniment, advocacy, safety planning and other legal or court related support.

Over this past year, 167 individuals were referred to the HWP Court Support Program to support them in navigating through the complexities of the Family Court System. With COVID-19 continuing to impact legal appointments and court proceedings, our Court Support Worker supported each client through the changes to the legal system, which did include virtual based court proceedings versus in-person.

For more information, please visit our website →

Transitional Support and Housing Program

2021-2022 continued to be a challenging year; however, we found creative ways of providing services to the women and children in our communities.

The Transitional Support and Housing Programs provides services for women, 16 years of age or older, living in Halton Region, who are impacted by domestic violence. This program provides information, options, and support for making choices to increase their safety and the safety of their children. This includes, safety planning, individual and group counseling supports, risk assessment, community referrals and support in housing and income support applications.

The year began with a partnership with The Women’s Centre of Halton, where we held Recording Resilience Groups. These 6-week closed groups were tremendously impactful to our clients and offered them with creative ways of working through their trauma. We had the opportunity to capture some of their thoughts and experiences in art form.

There are not that many jobs out there where you are surrounded by strong, capable, amazing women! Being in this job, and this field, has exposed me to many strong women, coworkers and clients.
The workers are respectful and sensitive. Working with Dawn was amazing, I felt like I was talking to a friend, she empathized with me. She intervened without shaming or disrespecting me. She went above and beyond to ensure that my needs were met. She cared for my safety and that of my daughter. I will be forever grateful. I have no idea how to repay HWP, but I will keep in mind the kindness that I received here and pay it forward.

Safe Pet – Keeping Pets Safe Too

For some of our clients, leaving a dangerous situation is simply not an option without all of their family members, including their furry loved ones. Over the past two years, due to a generous private donor, we have been able to support over 13 animals with veterinary care and/or safe boarding. This allows women to know that their furry loved one is safe, cared for and loved, allowing them to focus on their next steps of their journey.

%

56% of abused women delayed leaving their partner out of concern for their pets’ safety, and one-third of women who did go to a shelter were considering returning to an abusive partner because he had their pet.

– University of Windsor

Your Support Meant You Helped…

Calls to our 24-hr crisis, information, and support line

Connections through our online chat

Individuals supported through emergency shelter

Individuals who accessed our transitional housing and support program

Individuals referred to our Family Court Support Program

Transitional Support Services by phone or in person

Families supported through the Bridging Families collaboration with Halton CAS

Children supported through the Bridging Families collaboration with Halton CAS

Halton Regional Police Statistics

In 2021, the Halton Regional Police Services had close to…

Intimate partner violence related calls

Arrests

Charges laid

Highlights & New Initiatives

Despite the challenges from the pandemic, we were able to launch some great new initiatives at HWP.

New Collaboration: Violence Against Women, Police Liaison. Project Darian

In June of 2021, we decided to partake in a partnership with the Halton Regional Police Services. This initiative, referred to as Project Darian, was inspired by the experience of Darian Henderson Bellman, a young woman killed in our community in July 2020, due to an act of domestic violence. Darian’s story highlighted the many barriers that women face when reporting abuse and their reluctance in seeking support from a system that they are not confident will keep them safe. The goals of this partnership were also to build better capacity and knowledge between HRPS and HWP, as we work together to provide the best possible service for survivors to get the help they need. This collaboration allowed us to hire a Community Services Lead who began working with survivors at the Police station, providing early intervention supports.

Learn more about Project Darian →

Purple Bench Honours Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

On December 6, we partnered with Halton Regional Police Services and the Town of Halton Hills to install the first purple bench to unveil our first of five purple benches that will span across Halton.The first purple bench – Barbs bench – was unveiled recently in Georgetown – the first in Halton. These benches will let women know they are not alone and raise awareness on the prevalence of domestic violence in our communities and the help available. These benches are a testament that we all continue to take action and work diligently and passionately for those who have lost their lives due to gender-based violence.

Georgetown Unveiling Article →

Organizational Wellness

We continued to support our staff with fun wellness activities and special guest speakers at our virtual staff meetings throughout the year. We recognize zoom meetings can get the best of us, so we included fun trivia, interactive games, chair yoga and breathwork by bringing in Breathe Bliss. We also invited motivational speakers, Rosita Hall and Farrah Khan to name just a few. We started Wellness Wednesday communications and will continue to grow our organizational wellness through the years!

Fundraising & Events

Carm Bozzo

Director,
Philanthropy & Community Engagement

Golf

In 2021-2022, the Development Team organized two of our three signature events with success! In June, we hosted our first in-person event since the pandemic began with our golf tournament. Although some of the tournament had to be re-imagined to follow public health guidelines, the event sold out. The day was a beautiful one for all who golfed and volunteered, and it was great to see our friends and supporters in person once again.

Gala

We made the difficult decision to cancel the 2022 Home Safe Home Gala. With the most recent surge in COVID-19, like many organizations and businesses, HWP experienced staffing shortages from all departments and our resources to put this event on were limited.

All efforts and our main priority was towards ensuring our services were operational, and women and children were being supported and safe. We also focused on the health and wellness of our HWP community.

We are looking forward to hopefully having an in-person Gala in 2023!

Hope in High Heels

In September, the team focused on a week-long Hope in High Heels event that had community members across Halton and beyond walk with, or without, heels to show their support in ending violence against women. The week-long event had individuals and families, corporate groups, and friends, choose any time that week to walk to raise awareness and funds. Many businesses and homeowners also installed lawn signs to help promote HIHH but also show stats on the issue, helping us raise awareness. The event raised more than $250,000!

International Women’s Day

In the month of March, to recognize International Women’s Day, we partnered with the Women’s Centre of Halton and SAVIS to facilitate a virtual panel discussion centered around the theme of Break the Bias.

Jane Allison moderated the discussion between our guest speakers, Layne the Auctionista, Talli Osborne and Burlington Fire Chief, Karen Roche. This conversation was a powerful one and all 3 groups have agreed to keep these panels going throughout the year.

Holiday Giving Program

In 2021 we were able to support 140 women and their families with our Holiday Giving Program. We have reimagined our program now to support women with a variety of gift cards that they can use for holiday gifts, groceries or to use throughout the year. We are always so grateful to our community for their generous support in helping families during the holidays, which we know can be an extra stressful time.

Community Conversation on the Role of Males in Ending Gender-Based Violence

Domestic Violence isn’t a women’s issue. It is a systemic and societal issue. At HWP we focus on prevention through education, and this includes engaging men and boys in a more meaningful way.

Last year, we hosted a virtual Community Conversation on the Role of Males in Ending Gender-Based Violence. The event was held on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This interactive and dialogue-based event was hosted by Jeff Perera, an expert at building bridges between people of all genders speaking on topics of masculinity, empathy-building, and men helping end gender-based violence. The panelists included Social Impact Specialist, David Vandenberg, Writer and Educator, Husayn Symonds, and Nick Tansley from the Halton Regional Police Service.

Higher Unlearning by Jeff Perera →

Community Champions

Amazon Gives Back

The Milton Distribution Centre began giving back to Halton Women’s Place prior to the pandemic with large in-kind donations. Their partnership with us grew when they became a Safe Shelter Sponsor in 2020 and then again in 2021. But they wanted to do more!

MORE

View the press release →

We continue to be overwhelmed and grateful for the community support of individual, group and corporate donors, who share their support to help raise much needed funds for our programs and services. We thank each and every one of you!

Royal LePage Treks for HWP

In 2021, The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation held another expedition in support of women’s shelters and local realtors signed up to trek the Purcell Mountains in BC. This was intense on their minds and bodies. Trekking through BC for 6 days, camping, and carrying about 30 pounds of weight on their backs – all for raising much needed funds across the country. Thank you to our local realtors Joe Williams, Thomas McPhail and their team, for completing this and fundraising for HWP!

New Fundraising Initiative

In 2022 we decided to run an exciting new project – our Lottery of Hope Campaign!

We held two lotteries throughout the year and generated some excitement in the community and we LOVED making those calls to our two jackpot winners – Steve Hinrichs and Soulla Filice!

We also sent out a new mailout this year to commemorate Mother’s Day and raised close to $16,000 towards special pamper packages for moms staying in shelter.

Donor Spotlight: Whitney Hammond, From Wallet to Wealth

Whitney Hammond is a long-time donor and friend of our organization and has shared her story on how HWP helped her and her two little daughters more than 20 years ago.

Whitney always knew she wanted to give back and given back she has! In 2019 she created an event called From Wallet to Wealth, which showcases women who have moved from adversity to advantage. By creating this one event, Whitney has also started an FB page that has thousands of women connecting and sharing stories. Throughout the year, she hosts dinner events to raise money for her large November gala and last year, raised more than $50,000 for Halton Women’s Place. Whitney has raised more than $100,000 in 3 years for HWP and Wallet to Wealth is our BIGGEST third-party event to date!

We are so grateful for Whitney for being one of our champions!

With so much gratitude, we thank ALL our donors – who have reached out to help

THANK YOU TO OUR SAFE SHELTER SPONSORS FOR 2021-2022

We are so grateful for our Safe Shelter Sponsors. Our Safe Shelter Program gives corporations the opportunity to partner with us to provide safety, shelter and support to women and children affected by violence in their homes.

Through this program, these companies and businesses are recognized as taking a lead role in ending violence against women and children. Please visit our website to see our amazing Safe Shelter Sponsors!

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR FUNDERS

  • Ministry of Community and Social Services
  • Ministry of Attorney General
  • Burlington Community Foundation
  • Oakville Community Foundation
  • The Region of Halton

Public Education &
Violence Prevention

LEARN to LOVE: 10 YEARS of Healthy Relationship Education

The LEARN to LOVE public education program is in its 10th year of delivering quality, impactful, and much-needed support to schools, classrooms, and students across Halton! LEARN to LOVE is the violence prevention part of the work that is done at Halton Women’s Place. Our school-based presentations and community education sessions are key to creating sustained change in harmful and unhealthy behavior and attitudes that perpetuate gendered violence.

During the last school year, despite continued uncertainty because of the pandemic, we have continued to be a sought-after resource and support by teachers. Since 2012, we have reached over 101,000 students, delivered over 3,700 in-person and virtual presentations across the Halton Region, and sent out 210 pre-recorded presentations. Every day our educators work to educate youth and our community about GBV, to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to build healthy relationships and support those who may be experiencing unhealthy or abusive relationships, and to find their role in building a healthier and safe community for everyone.

Jerusha Mack

Manager, Community Engagement and Education

Podcasts and Webinars

Our program continues to grow in new and exciting ways, as we are always looking for opportunities to expand our reach and increase awareness and education about gender-based violence in our community.

During the last fiscal year, we have launched 9 episodes on our podcast, THE YOUTH POD, and hosted several community webinars. Some of these webinars included an I ASK Webinar for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a Community Conversation Webinar featuring an all-male panel discussing masculinity and the role that men play in ending gender-based violence, and the “CRAZY LOVE” webinar for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. These education and awareness initiatives are important ways we have continued to engage and educate the community. We know that TOGETHER as a community, we can end gender-based violence – but this requires each of us to be a part of the solution, and therefore requires all of us to be engaged, aware and educated allies.

Listen to all our podcast episodes on your favourite podcast app, or by visiting: haltonwomensplace.buzzsprout.com

To learn more about the LEARN to LOVE program, visit our website →

Positive Feedback

We regularly receive feedback from schools and teachers about the impact our LEARN to LOVE program has had in their classrooms and with their students. The continued support we’ve received, which can be seen in our increasing demand, is a huge testament to not just the strength, quality, and impact of our program, but also highlights THE NEED for it in our community.

Financial Review

Derek Payne

Treasurer

Janice Hamilton

Director,
Finance & Operations

Halton Women’s Place recorded a strong surplus and ended the 2021-2022 fiscal year in a healthy financial position. We continue to be extremely grateful for the tremendous level of support we receive from the communities in Halton Region, as well as the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented Halton Women’s place with challenges and uncertainty over the past two years. The Ministry has supported us with funding through the Covid Residential Relief Fund, offsetting additional costs incurred to manage the organization through the pandemic. The community has continued to be very generous with donations and support, even as key fundraising events have been altered or cancelled.

We are also grateful for the support of Halton Region for providing funding for clients using our hotel program while the shelters have been reduced in capacity. It is only through the continued commitment of our government and community that Halton Women’s Place can allocate the financial resources needed to provide shelter and services for abused women and their children. We thank you for this commitment and ongoing support. Our complete financial statements are available upon request.

Financial Report for Annual Report March 2022 ↓

Mailing Address:

Halton Women’s Place
2211 Brant Street, #20060
Burlington, ON L7P 0A4

Administration:
905-332-1200

Fax: 905-332-1155

info@haltonwomensplace.com

Reach Out Today

24-Hour Crisis, Information and Support Line

Burlington & Oakville: 905-332-7892

Milton & Halton Hills:
905-878-8555

HWP Online Chat →

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

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