Transitional Housing for Homeless and Precariously Housed Women and Gender Diverse People
Excerpt from the GoFundMe campaign page:
In 2019 the Elizabeth Fry Society, in collaboration with Lakehead University, conducted some research highlighting an acute need for temporary housing in Thunder Bay. Current Canadian research has indicated that access to secure housing is a robust protective factor against crime and incarceration and a strong social determinant of health.
Upon discharge from prison, women encounter insurmountable barriers to accessing housing in private and non-profit housing markets. The Covid pandemic exacerbated this problem, and the homelessness crisis reached epic proportions in Thunder Bay. The Elizabeth Fry Society of NWO responded by opening a four-unit transition residence in Thunder Bay in May 2021, with the assistance of one-time Covid-19 relief funds from the Thunder Bay District Social Services Board.
The over-incarceration of Indigenous women in prison has been called “unconscionable” by the Correctional Investigator of Canada. Judges and advocates alike have decried the injustice of further punishing Indigenous people with prison sentences when they have been victims of intergenerational trauma due to residential schools and the colonial agenda that stripped them of their rights. 47% of the people interviewed in the 2021 Thunder Bay Point in Time Count of homeless people had recently been incarcerated.
We are now looking to expand our capacity to offer temporary housing to include single women and women with children. With your help, we are investing in a residence with 8-10 housing units. This will allow this critical work to continue in our community. We acknowledge that secure housing is more than roofs over heads; It is a place to call home; it is safe, secure, and affordable even when it is temporary. In addition, our specialized Circle of Care allows us to support residents in addressing immediate crises and transition to their goals of independent living.
To learn more about this fundraiser or make a contribution, visit their GoFundMe campaign.
To learn more about the Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario, visit their website.