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.
Furthermore, we have made significant strides in our advocacy efforts to raise awareness about domestic violence and its impact on our community. Through strategic partnerships, community engagement and public education, we have amplified the voices of survivors and worked towards breaking the silence surrounding this issue. By engaging with policymakers, community leaders, and the public, we aim to affect lasting change and create a society that prioritizes the safety and well-being of all individuals.
None of our achievements would have been possible without the unwavering support of our donors, funders and volunteers. We thank our core funders, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, as well as the Community Foundations who have supported us through grants this past year and Women’s Shelters Canada who provided enhanced funding to shelters across Canada while we navigated through challenges of the pandemic. Your generosity and dedication have made a tangible difference in the lives of countless individuals and families. We extend our sincere gratitude to every one of you for your continued support.
Our HWP staff, have continued to work passionately and with perseverance to continue to support and advocate for our clients- thank you to you all for continuing to show up with compassion and kindness for our clients. And to our HWP leadership team, who helps in steering this ship, thank you for your steadfast leadership and commitment to our teams and always moving the agency forward.
Lastly, I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our Board of Directors, for their continued strategic leadership and dedication to HWP and volunteering their time and talents. And Board Chair, Heather Colquhoun, who we are wishing well today as an outgoing Director, following an exceptional almost 10 year tenure at HWP, serving as Board Chair since 2020. Heather’s visionary guidance and strategic insights have been instrumental in shaping the direction of our organization. Thank you, Heather, for you dedication and commitment to our organization over the years. We are so grateful for your leadership and wish you all the best.
Moving forward together, we remain committed to our mission of providing a safe haven, information and education to support women and children to live a life free from violence. Thank you all for joining us on this journey and helping us to show the individuals that need us the most, you are not alone.
Board Chair Message
Board Chair Message
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.
Halton Women’s Place continues to be a beacon for our clients and for others in the sector – working from a trauma-informed approach to service delivery, and offering leading edge programs including preventive measures through the Learn to Love Public Education program, and addressing the societal barrier of a lack of affordable housing as one reason a woman might return to her abuser through the Transitional Housing program. Both of these critical programs are new during the past decade, are operated through fundraised dollars, and are vital bookends to the shelter and outreach service delivery that support a woman and her children in crisis.
This year has also seen us return to full capacity and initiate renovations through a generous CMHC grant to future-proof our capacity against another pandemic by creating single-family spaces. Our Public Education team has continued with virtual presentations while also returning to in-person, sparking important conversations, and learning in classrooms across Halton. And diversity and inclusion initiatives are underway at all levels of the organization from the board to frontline as we all work to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for anyone in Halton experiencing gender-based violence.
It is bittersweet to witness all the progress and to be saying goodbye to serving with such a committed, talented and strategic group of board members. But I do so knowing that the organization is in very good hands, and I look forward to continuing to support Halton Women’s Place’s mission as a community member.
Congratulations and thanks again to Laurie Hepburn and the whole HWP team on the tremendous work this year. See you at the next event!
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
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
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.
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.
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
How You Helped
Total individuals served in shelter
Total calls to our crisis, information and support lines
Women who accessed our court support program
Women served in transitional support
Women served in Bridging Families
Average length of stay was 105 days
In 2022-23, HWP had 140 online chats
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.
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.
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
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
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.
— HWP Donor
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.
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
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.
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
- 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.
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
Thanks, Peter and Julie for organizing this successful evening!
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!
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
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
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.
Director, Finance & Operations
Director, Finance & Operations
Halton Women’s Place
2211 Brant Street, #20060
Burlington, ON L7P 0A4
Reach Out Today
24-Hour Crisis, Information and Support Line
©2022 Halton Women’s Place. All Right’s Reserved | Registered Charity Number-10746 2558 RR0001