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Impact Report

2022-2023

Annual Report

2022-2023

Forward Together

Forward Together

Dear friends and supporters of Halton Women’s Place,

Looking into the 2023-2024 fiscal year, we are moving forward together, stronger, and with a renewed sense of resilience for our HWP community. This year has been a testament to the resilience and strength of our organization as we continue to provide essential support and services to those affected by domestic violence in our community. The courageous and brave women and children who invite us to be part of their journey towards a life free from violence continues to inspire and drive our work forward. Over the past year, we have faced numerous challenges, including the ongoing pandemic and its far-reaching impacts, however, our unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of survivors has guided us through these times. Our dedicated team of staff, volunteers, and supporters has come together to continue to deliver our programs and services, ensuring that we can continue to meet the evolving needs of those seeking our support.

Our strategic plan at Halton Women’s Place aims to provide comprehensive support, empower women and children and build safe communities. A primary focus this year has been on enhancing accessibility, inclusivity and expanding our reach within the community. Through collaborations with partner agencies, community outreach initiatives, and leveraging technology, we have been able to extend our services to more individuals who require our assistance. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we have also prioritized capacity building within our organization. Our HWP team has participated in training programs and workshops, including intense professional development working with diversity, equity and inclusion leader Leena Seth Sharma, from Mending the Chasm, as well as trauma-Informed training, to enhance our skills and knowledge in supporting survivors. By investing in our team, we are better equipped to provide comprehensive, inclusive and trauma-informed care to those who turn to us for help.

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Laurie Hepburn

Executive Director

Board Chair Message

Board Chair Message

Heather Colquhoun

Chair, Board of Directors

Reflections from Heather Colquhoun

It has been almost a decade since I began serving on the Halton Women’s Place Board of Directors. In that time, I have often remarked that I would like to put the staff out of work because that would mean we had eliminated violence against women. We are not there yet; there is a long way to go towards ending gender-based violence, as evidenced by the increase in violence during the pandemic. And the whole staff and management team remain as dedicated, tenacious, and resilient as ever. Thank you for all that you do for the women and children using HWP services!

Notwithstanding all that there still is to do, I have seen encouraging progress in my past nine years. Our engagement of men in ‘being part of the solution’ has evolved over the years and continues to grow including hiring a male educator and running a program for male youth. Several recent initiatives in the sector and at Halton Women’s Place offer further cause for hope – including the passing of Keira’s Law and the non-partisan Hope in High Heels event on Parliament Hill, increased local partnerships, and HWP’s public education and transitional housing programs. Our community support has only increased as well – thank you to everyone. Whether you attend, volunteer for or run events on our behalf, whether you are a male ally walking to show support or talking about toxic masculinity with your peers, whether you are an ambassador giving of your time or your dollars or both, we appreciate you and your support. Thank you.

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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.

Our Pillars of Excellence

Client Service Delivery
Education & Advocacy
Partnerships & Collaboration
Organizational Wellness

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Heather
Colquhoun

Chair

Leslie Starr-
Hemburrow

Vice Chair

Ayesha
Shah

Corporate Secretary

Derek
Payne

Treasurer

Julie
Cowan

Director

Barbara
Love

Director

Irene
Santos

Director

Rufaida
Mohammed

Director

David
Vandenberg

Director

Michelle
Small

Director

Programs & Services

Programs & Services

Our Programs and Service delivery is not possible without a collaborative effort. Starting with our knowledgeable and dedicated staff, volunteers, funders, community partners and supporters we were able to deliver services to hundreds of women this year.

This year had us moving forward together after the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in 3 years, we were finally able to move back to full capacity in our emergency safe shelters in order to provide more space for those in need. We were successful in receiving funding through a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation grant which will assist us in offering more inclusive spaces for all clients. We launched our Wellness rooms at both shelters providing a tranquil and serene space for both clients and staff to unwind, relax and be at ease. We also strengthened our collaborations with the Women’s Centre and Halton Community Legal Clinic. All these efforts make a huge difference in the lives of the individuals that we serve.

Community Services saw the addition of a Police Liaison role in conjunction with the Halton Regional Police Service. This meant being able to easily receive and process referrals for the most vulnerable victims of intimate partner violence and gender-based violence crimes. There was also the addition of bi-monthly webinars to support women in our shelters and in the community.

All of these endeavors would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers, funders, donors, and community.

 

Our programs and services:

Emergency Safe Shelter Services
Transitional Support and Housing Program
Family Court Support Program
24 Hour Crisis, Information and Support Line and Online Chat
Bridging
Families

Before calling for help, I felt scared and alone. But, coming to HWP has been a lifesaver for me. You have all helped me secure housing and establish a new safe environment for me and my children. Because of you, we are all happy again! Thank you for being my heroes!

— HWP Shelter Client

North Halton Drop-In Program

A brand new initiative this year was to be able to expand our services into North Halton. We did this by collaborating with the Halton Hills Public Library and the Halton Community Legal Clinic to hold a weekly drop-in program in both Acton and Georgetown. This allows women from our rural communities to access the transitional support worker who can provide assistance with housing applications, accessing support services, applying for Ontario Works, safety planning and abuse education. Since the program launched earlier this year, 9 women and 12 children have attended the sites for services. We anticipate that this will continue to grow as we increase the programming available for these underserved communities.

Housing Liaison

Thanks to enhanced funding through MCCSS, this year we introduced a new position of a housing liaison. This worker was dedicated to supporting the women in the shelter to access housing whether that be through market rent, completing housing applications, provide housing letters, budgeting, resume building and offering housing groups. This was especially important and helpful given the current housing crisis where the wait for subsidized housing with special priority is a long wait for years and the cost of market rent in Halton is not affordable for most single women and mothers. There is also a lack of available housing in the Halton Region to support the demand. All the women in our safe shelter program were able to access this specialized support that undoubtedly made a big difference in helping them achieve their housing goals.

 

For the Love of Paws Pet Program

Our Safe Pet program got a new name this year, For the Love of Paws. We were able to support 5 furry friends in 2022 with an average stay of 94 days. With their pets in a safe place, women are able to focus on their journey to a life free from violence.

How You Helped

Halton Regional Police Statistics

Intimate partner violence is a prevalent issue in Halton. Our staff works closely with the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS), who continue to answer an average of 10 calls per day in relation to domestic violence.

Intimate Partner
Violence Calls

Intimate Partner
Violence Arrests

Intimate Partner
Violence Charges

Thank you HWP for providing a safe and comfortable place for me and my son and continuing to provide support within and outside of the shelter. We appreciate everything HWP continues to do for us while we are here (apply for housing, planning everything properly to have a successful life once leaving the shelter). Every worker here has been a blessing to meet, speak to, and spend time with. Thank you all for understanding me and my emotions through it all. 

– HWP Shelter Client

Learn to Love

Learn to Love

The Public Education &
Violence Prevention Program

The Learn to Love program is the prevention side of the work that we do at HWP.

Over the last year, we transitioned from virtual presentations to being able to facilitate in-person workshops to schools and students across Halton from Grades 1-12. Our educators reached an average of 150 students every day. Whether it was a presentation on bullying, healthy friendships, consent, harassment, conflict resolution, digital literacy, or cyber safety, the goal of our presentations was to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to build healthy relationships and live a life free from violence.

Learn to Love continues to be in high demand, with our educators being booked 6-8 weeks in advance. Last year, we completed 701 virtual/in-person presentations, and sent out 67 pre-recorded presentations in Halton. Every student reached helps us start important conversations to build healthy attitudes and behaviors and move forward together to break the epidemic of abuse in our community.

Learn to Love in the Classroom

Teachers and schools across Halton attest to the impact that the Learn to Love program has had in their classrooms and with their students.

Excellent! The LeadHERship and EmpowerHER sessions provided an opportunity for all students in my class to engage in discussions about gender stereotypes, healthy relationships, and positive communication. Students appreciated your positive attitude and flexible teaching approach. It was nice to see all students (including introverts) participating in collaborative learning activities and developing leadership skills.

Elena Zgonnik, High School Teacher

 

The ‘Reel Youth Leaders’ Summer Program

Our Public Education team were proud to present the first ever REEL Youth Leaders Summer Program. This opportunity offered youth in Halton the chance to produce and star in an HWP original short film featuring youth discussions. Over the course of four in-person sessions, twenty youth leaders shone a light on gender-based violence, and openly discussed topics like healthy relationships, consent, and the influence of media on their perception of relationships and their body image. It was an amazing summer of learning and fun with inspiring future leaders!

Introducing ‘The Sharon Banks Learn to Love Educator Award’!

At our recent Superstar Gala, we launched The Sharon Banks Learn to Love Educator Award! The first awards were given to four educators from across the Region of Halton who have been champions of relationship education in their schools.

This award is named after our long-time volunteer, donor, and friend, Sharon Banks, who passed away suddenly this July. Always a teacher at heart, Sharon touched and enriched the lives of many, especially the children who would come to know her. Going forward, we will present this award at our June Annual General Meeting to four Halton educators representing Burlington, Milton, Oakville, and Halton Hills.

Community Learning:
Webinars and
Campaigns

Throughout the year, our team engages the community through awareness and educational campaigns. In February, for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we hosted a webinar featuring guest speaker, Carol Todd. Carol shared the story of her daughter, Amanda Todd, to educate our community about internet safety, cyber abuse, and sextortion. In May, for Sexual Violence Prevention Month, we hosted a webinar on the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse kin, also known as #RedDressDay. Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Val King, shared her story and provided a historical context to explain the roots of the disproportionate rates of violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls.
Thank you for all that Halton Women’s Place is doing to empower and rebuild the lives of women and their families.

— HWP Donor

Highlights

Highlights

Grandmother’s Voice: The Healing Journey, Sept. 30th and Sisters In Spirit

Several members of our staff attended “The Healing Journey towards Biimaadiiziwiin (The Good Life)” with Dennis Windego. This full day training introduced staff to the comprehensive model of Indigenous Land Based Psychotherapy. This introduction demonstrated the power of healing through experiential exercises, trauma recovery stories, and small group discussions.

This important professional development opportunity allowed our staff and agency to build on and decolonize existing skills so that we can better serve and assist Indigenous communities.

On September 30th, the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, our staff joined Grandmother’s Voice walk to honour the children who never returned home, survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. A large group of community members met at Country Heritage Park where we walked together, eventually stopping at a 20-foot banner displayed on a large barn which read “Bring our Children Home” to gather in prayer, love, and solidarity.

Some of our staff members attended the Sisters in Spirit Ceremony at Crawford Lake on October 4th. We gathered together in a small circle for an outdoor ceremony and tied red ties on the White pines. These ties were removed in ceremony on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination to end Violence against Women.

Wellness Committee

A Wellness committee was formed and initially supported the completion of the wellness rooms within each shelter. They took on a commitment to provide Wellness Wednesday Posts, which are weekly reminders to staff to make time for their own health and wellness. Recently, committee members have been leading activities that support engagement and camaraderie at the all-staff meetings and creating fun and engaging festivities for staff during holidays and other celebratory days. They will also be working on developing in-person staff meetings and events like all staff barbecues, to promote more engagement and inclusivity.

As we spend our days checking in with the women we serve, it is essential that we as staff members take care of our own wellness. Through community building within HWP and Halton, we can continue to grow and develop ways to support our fellow colleagues, which in turn will benefit clients. Wellness is an area that is sometimes left out due to busy schedules and unexpected challenges, however we must work towards sprinkling wellness within our daily lives to care for our bodies and minds.

— HWP Staff

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

A Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee was formed and took on the support and stewardship role of the DEI journey and commitment of the Agency. We engaged a third-party consultant to advise and recommend paths of action and continue to research new and ongoing resources to support our commitment.

Community inclusivity events led by Grandmothers Voice, were and continue to be, a welcome opportunity for education and growth.

 

A Special Visit

In November we were honoured to have Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity and MPP Brampton Centre, Charmaine Williams, MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos and MPP Natalie Pierre visit us at Halton Women’s Place on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. We are all committed to ensuring safe, shelter services and community outreach programs to support women and children fleeing abusive situations. We can’t do this work alone and are grateful for the support and dedication from leaders like them.

Did you know?

56% of Indigenous women have experienced physical assault and 46% of Indigenous women have experienced sexual assault. In comparison, 34% of non-Indigenous women have experienced physical assault and 33% have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime.

One of the most positive outcomes from the committee so far are the community connections we are strengthening and building. Reflection on how and when HWP marks certain days of the year and moving towards supporting the community partners whose voices can be strengthened with HWP support; e.g., supporting Grandmother’s Voice with Red Dress and Orange Shirt events.

— HWP Staff

Fundraising & Events

Fundraising & Events

Annual Golf Tournament

June 2022 saw the return of our fully in-person golf tournament where we sold out and all enjoyed a wonderful day on the greens and gathered together for dinner. We are so grateful to all who sponsored, golfed and donated towards this fun day while at the same time raising awareness and funds for our organization. With your help we raised close to $30,000!
 

Holiday Giving

YOU helped us support nearly 200 women and their families this holiday season.

“I really didn’t know how I was going to afford Christmas this year”.

This is what we heard over and over as women picked up their donations with tears of gratitude. For many of our clients, this was the first holiday season on their own – or with their children – free from a life of violence.

One woman shared that she finally found courage over the last year to move forward with her life. She now rents a home with her two children and feels so happy and at peace. Getting support from the community and enjoying the holidays with her children was the perfect end to a significant year in her life. She is hopeful that as she continues to move forward, eventually, she’ll find herself in a position to give back and donate herself.

It was clear that the support felt like a true gift and a sign of hope. Thanks to all who donated and sponsored families this holiday.

Hope in High Heels

Downtown Burlington was a buzz with 200 boys and men walking down the street in pink high heels in support of our annual Hope in High Heels event last September. The event is to engage boys and men in becoming part of the solution in ending gender-based violence. Young athletes from the Burlington Eagles hockey teams and Corpus Christi football teams walked along proudly to show their support! Together, we raised more than $42,000!

 

International Women's Day

This March our community came together to listen to guest speaker, Amy Kaufman, a survivor of intimate partner violence and a single mother. She spoke about how she waged an uphill legal battle against her ex-husband, a well-known media figure. She now works as a coordinator for Women Aware, providing support to other survivors of intimate partner violence, and appears in the media to discuss her experience and advocacy.

The Superstar Gala

On February 22nd, we gathered with more than 400 community members and supporters for our Superstar Gala! We are so thankful to all our sponsors, especially to our presenting sponsor, Atlas Van Lines, all our auction donors and guests – plus our volunteers – who helped make this event a night to remember AND a huge success! Special thanks to Layne, the Auctionista, for their passion and enthusiasm in helping us reach our funding goals!

Together, with the support of everyone who joined us and gave generously, we were able to raise $245,000!!! This was a record-breaking gala and these funds will support our programs and services in addition to our Learn to Love Public Education Program.

 

Imagine Canada

Halton Women’s Place is proud to be officially re-accredited through Imagine Canada’s #StandardsProgram in 5 key areas of operations:

  • Board Governance
  • Financial Accountability & Transparency
  • Fundraising
  • Staff Management
  • Volunteer Involvement!

Accreditation is a sought-after hallmark of excellence within the sector for funders, donors, sponsors, and supporters. Check it out here.

Community Champions

Community Champions

Each year, we are so grateful to our community supporters who invest in keeping women safe.

Here are a few of this year’s Community Champions that we would like to highlight!

Peter John Van Dyk
and Julie Cole

May brings flowers but also fashion! The first annual No Excuse for Woman Abuse Fashion Show Fundraiser raised more than $17,000 for Halton Women’s Place and was the first in person third party event for us! Bringing together more than 160 people, this duo collaborated with No Excuse Boxing Gym to bring a unique fundraiser to Burlington!

Thanks, Peter and Julie for organizing this successful evening!

Atlas Canada

Atlas Canada has been a long-time supporter of Halton Women’s Place starting from the top – their President, Fred Haladay. This year they went above and beyond by becoming our FIRST EVER Presenting Sponsor at our gala event. Their sponsorship helped us to create an even more amazing event, but also, raise more funds than ever! Thank you to Fred and Atlas Canada for your generous support and dedication to ending gender-based violence.

The McLean Family

When the 2022 gala was cancelled, The McLean family decided to get together and discuss how they could make a difference. And did they EVER make one! They became Safe Shelter Sponsors and sponsored 7 rooms in the Burlington shelter! Their $25,000 donation came at a critical point for our organization, and we were so honoured to receive it! The McLean Family continues to support HWP and has shared our mission with their friends and family resulting in more giving!

Donors

Donors

We are so grateful to all our donors who have invested in the safety of women and children. Thank you.

Thank You To Our Safe Shelter Sponsors For 2022-2023

Sponsoring a room at Halton Women’s Place through our Safe Shelter Program provides corporations, businesses, foundations, and other groups the opportunity to provide support to the women and children living in the shelters during a most stressful time.

Each room at Halton Women’s Place from our women’s quiet lounge to our kitchen to our children’s playroom, is an integral part of their new SAFE, short-term home.

This program and its supporters show women and their children that they are supported in their decision in leaving an unhealthy home. Sponsorships begin at $5000. Each sponsored room has a plaque recognizing the company/donor and our Safe Shelter Sponsors get a plaque for their own display.

The Safe Shelter Program has been a signature program for HWP since 2003.

This year’s Safe Shelter Sponsors include:

  • Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services
  • Quadra Chemicals
  • Moen Canada
  • Woodbine Entertainment
  • The McLean Family
  • Zonta Club of Oakville
  • Haywood Securities
  • The Hayward Gordon Group
  • Charity of Hope
  • Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services, LLC

Financial Review

Financial Review

Halton Women’s Place ended their 2022-2023 fiscal year in a strong financial position. We are grateful to our community, Women’s Shelters Canada and to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for their ongoing support. The community has continued to be very generous with donations and support for our fundraising events. We are grateful to Women’s Shelters Canada for providing funding for clients who used our hotel program while shelters were still at reduced capacity. They also provided funding for our public education program (Learn to Love) and additional staffing for Food & Nutrition workers.

It is through the continued support and commitment of our government and community that Halton Women’s Place has been able to allocate financial resources needed to provide shelter and services for women and children in need. Thank you for your commitment and ongoing support. Our complete financial statements are available upon request.

Janice Hamilton

Director, Finance & Operations

Derek Payne

Treasurer

Janice Hamilton

Director, Finance & Operations

Derek Payne

Treasurer

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

HWP South:
905-332-7892

HWP North:
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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