The Ontario government is investing $18.5 million over three years to support survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking by increasing access to safe and affordable housing, employment assistance and childcare through the Transitional and Housing Support Program. The funding will enhance access to services at five on-reserve Indigenous shelter and family healing programs and help alleviate long-term pressures on the province’s emergency shelter system which has experienced an increased demand for services during COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has tragically increased the frequency and severity of domestic violence and human trafficking in our province, which means that more women and children are in immediate need of a safe place to stay,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “This investment will help ensure that survivors have access to the supports they need to heal and rebuild their lives.”
The Transitional and Housing Support Program is a key resource for women escaping domestic violence and human trafficking, providing a critical link to local housing providers and municipal service managers. Program workers also help survivors on the path to regaining their independence through safety planning and connection to wrap-around supports. This includes access to counselling and well-being supports, social assistance programs, housing and employment assistance, childcare, education and legal supports, as well as wholistic culturally responsive services for Indigenous women.
“Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses applauds this government for increasing funding in the Transitional Housing and Support Program,” said Marlene Ham, Executive Director Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses. “This signals their commitment and acknowledgement about the critical role ongoing support and advocacy plays in improving survivor safety and wellbeing.”