COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES
Family Violence Interventions
- Program name:
Watson Lake Yukon Women's Shelter and Transition Home
Help and Hope For Families Society
Watson Lake, Yukon
- Target Group:
Women and their children.
- Contact Name:
Caron Statham, Executive Director
This women's shelter was established in 2002. The program expanded in 2011 to include 4 transitional housing apartments. The shelter and transitional housing occupy one site although they are in 2 separate buildings, both of which were purpose built.
- Goals & Objectives:
To promote awareness of family violence and to empower women, children and men to live without violence; to ensure the availability of a local, community based safe home and shelter for the care and protection of women and their children in the community of Watson Lake; and to end violence in the community by taking a proactive approach, which includes: outreach, education, referral, advocacy, support, information/resources, and transition home/shelter services.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The Help and Hope for Families Society employs the following traditional and indigenous methods of healing: the provision of traditional food in the shelter and transitional housing programs; the employment of First Nation women to deliver programs; and programs for young children and girls that re-connect them with local Elders and teach them traditional skills such as beading and sewing.
- Components of program:
The program offers an emergency shelter for women and children escaping violence, a four unit transitional housing service, on site counselling for women who have been victimized, and parenting and nutrition workshops as well as a play therapy program for children 6 years and under. In addition to this, the program offers a beading group for girls who receive guidance and traditional teachings from local Elders. There is an Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous group meeting schedule and a food bank (which provides access to traditional foods) and a clothing donation depot. The program has also headed up a community garden project for clients to participate in.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility and off site at various locations in the community.
Funding is provided by the Yukon Government; the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation; the Government of British Columbia; the Mary Kay Foundation; and the Community Action Plan for Children.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Women Elders and other community members sit on the board of the Help and Hope for Families Society. The staff of all the society's programs are women.
All local service providers; the RCMP; other Yukon shelters and the Canadian Network of Women's Shelters and Transition Homes.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by the increased health and safety of community women and children.
The ability of the program to provide for all emergency needs to clients in one space has been a success. The program has successfully garnered a broad base of community support.
Coping with the high rates of family violence in the area. The shelter is almost always full and crisis lines are very busy.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. It is very important to thank community residents and organizations who assist the shelter with food, clothing, construction, equipment, gardening, transportation etc.
Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.
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