Ontario Supports Indigenous Women Fleeing Domestic Violence in Sault Ste. Marie

The Ontario government is providing over $550,000 to help create safe and affordable housing for Indigenous women and their children in Sault Ste. Marie. The funding is being delivered through the Social Services Relief Fund and will support women fleeing domestic violence who are homeless or at risk of homelessness during COVID-19.

“Our government understands how important it is that people seeking a safe exit from a violent domestic relationship have a safe and secure place to call home, here in Sault Ste. Marie and across Ontario,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “This project will help provide local Indigenous community members with safe homes so they are not forced into homelessness or other dangerous housing situations.”

Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services is using the funding to purchase four three-bedroom houses, which will serve as single-family homes.

“Our government’s $510 million housing and homelessness funding response to COVID-19 is creating safe and affordable homes for people across Ontario,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We value our strong relationship with Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, and we’re proud to stand alongside them in delivering affordable homes for Indigenous community members.”

The single-family homes are in close proximity to schools, parks and nearby public transit which provides access to Indigenous cultural supports, including Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), the local Friendship Centre, as well as on-reserve programs for band members.

“It is critically important to ensure Indigenous women and their children fleeing domestic violence have access to safe housing,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the new variants, we need to provide vulnerable people immediate access to housing so they can stay home, stay safe, and save lives.”

“With the help of the Ontario government, we are honoured to house members of the Indigenous community living in Sault Ste. Marie,” said Justin Marchand, Executive Director of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services. “Four newly renovated homes mean four families can feel safe and secure during the pandemic and beyond. Minister Romano and Minister Clark understand the mutual and multiple benefits of Indigenous-led program design and delivery and we say ‘Chi Miigwetch’ for their ongoing, collaborative support.”