#01 FALL 2020
YOUR SUPPORT AT WORK FOR SURVIVORS OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN PEEL
P R E MIE R E I S S UE! We are thrilled to announce the launch of Interim Place’s first triannual newsletter, the Braverly. You are receiving this newsletter because we recognize and appreciate the important role you play as a friend and supporter of Interim Place. We are excited to offer you an inside look at your support in action with exclusive updates and real-life stories of survivors at Interim Place.
While this has been a challenging time for all of us, your support has made all of the difference in keeping our spirits high and our sights set on what’s most important. Our first issue will focus on our current reality. Many of you have inquired about how we have been faring at Interim Place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, we have been heartened to witness the overwhelming support that our community has extended to our organization and the survivors we serve over the past several months. While this has been a challenging time for all of us, suffice to say that your support has made all the difference in keeping our spirits high and our sights set on what’s most important- the safety of survivors of gender-based violence.
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FALL NEWSLETTER: ISSUE 1
S UP P OR T ING S UR V I V OR S IN A PA NDE MIC With your support, we kept our programs running at full capacity amidst a global pandemic. Here’s how we did it. Our two Emergency Shelters, Community Support and Outreach Program, Emergency Crisis Lines, Central Intake Lines, and Sexual Violence Support Program remain fully operational. In the months of AprilJune, Interim Place:
Sheltered 83 survivors including 49 adults and their 34 children.
Supported 401 survivors of violence through our Community Support and Outreach Program.
Created 419 safety plans with survivors of violence.
Provided violence prevention supports for survivors in the community 2,134 times virtually/ over the phone.
At a time when many organizations such as ours have been forced to close their doors, we cannot stress enough the critical role our community has played in our ability to continue to serve those facing violence. Read on to learn more about how we did it. In March of this year, while citizens of Peel Region and across the world sheltered in place at the behest of Public Health authorities, at Interim Place we braced for the dreadful consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for individuals at risk of gen-
der-based violence. As is inevitably the case with public health crises of this magnitude, we understood at the outset that certain communities would be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic; namely, women, Black and Indigenous folks, and those who are socioeconomically disenfranchised. It was also clear to us that a host of factors- including social isolation, financial strain, and increased barriers to supports- would lead to the soaring rates of gendered violence that have now been widely reported. We had to act quickly to mitigate the inherent risk posed by the close quarters of congregate living environments, with the safety of those we serve hanging in the balance.
Recognizing the urgency of the situation at hand, in short order we implemented a service modification plan. We quickly put into effect a rigorous cleaning regimen, enhanced screening processes, restrictions on personnel permitted onsite, and a moratorium on in-kind donations. Wherever possible, programming serving survivors living in the community was adapted and conducted remotely. We moved swiftly to respond to the emerging needs of survivors, both living in shelter and residing in the community. We launched a multi-pronged communications strategy to ensure survivors were aware of supports available to them. With your financial support and the support of our funders, we established an Emergency Fund for survivors living in the community to support their safety and respond to concerns regarding food insecurity. Recognizing the critical role virtual supports would play for survivors of violence in the community, we distributed smartphones to those without access to an internet-ready device. Additionally, we were able to take significant steps to ensure that survivors residing
in shelter have the requisite technology to maintain social connections while physically distancing. We will continue to do all we can to meet the needs of those facing gender-based violence. In the months to come we will launch a new website with innovative virtual supports, as we strive to reach even more survivors. We are also in the process of retrofitting our shelter locations with contactless upgrades to respond to our new reality. We will continue in our unrelenting mission to address the systemic inequities that have been laid bare by this pandemic. It is our hope that this crisis will serve as a catalyst in spurring on the kind of transformative change that is needed to end gender-based violence in our community. We want survivors of gender-based violence to know that they can count on us, and that our doors will remain open. Now more than ever, our donors play a critical role in our ability to fulfill that commitment. While an uncertain future awaits, we are confident that with you in our corner we will persist. Thank you for supporting us through these critical times.
S UR V I V OR S T OR Y “It is often on the darkest nights we see the brightest stars.” -Richard Evans
NICOLE’S STORY #survivorstory #amplifiedvoices “IT’S HARD FOR ANYONE BEING ABUSED TO SEEK HELP DUE TO FEAR OF WHAT MAY HAPPEN. I CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT IF I DIDN’T GO TO THE SHELTER, I WOULDN’T BE ALIVE TO SHARE MY STORY TODAY. MY MESSAGE TO OTHERS WHO MAY BE GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME IS YOU ARE NOT ALONE. THERE ARE REALLY PEOPLE WHO CARE.”
Nicole is a 27-year-old trans woman. She experienced physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse by her intimate partner. She was rejected by her family and subjected to emotional abuse as a child and teen. As a result she did not have any family members to turn to for support when she was in crisis. Nicole’s story of abuse is not uncommon, as trans women and trans people of color experience disproportionate levels of intimate partner violence. Due to transphobia, many trans women facing violence, like Nicole, are apprehensive about seeking help. They feel they have nowhere to turn. Nicole was extremely fortunate to find a supportive community who encouraged her to get help, by placing a call to Interim Place’s Crisis line for support and a safe place to stay. Nicole’s friend knew that we welcome all women, two-spirit, gender queer, trans, and non-binary people at Interim Place. Interim Place provided a safe place for her and supported her in achieving her goals. In her words, “for the first time in my life, l have people who listen... and empower me to take control of my life.”
P R O GR A M S & S E R V ICE S UP D AT E S A ND INNO VAT ION S We are thrilled about the launch of new virtual support programs for survivors of gender-based violence this fall! We are excited to announce that the On Our Own Peer Support Program is BACK! This 12-week virtual program funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation is a space for survivors of violence to meet with peers, access support, share experiences, learn, and grow. There are four different groups for particular communities experiencing marginalization, including: Indigenous survivors, survivors with disabilities, undocumented youth survivors, and survivors who have been impacted by the mental health system, as identified in Interim Place’s 20172020 Strategic Plan. We want survivors to know that they are not alone in their experiences and we offer a safe, welcoming, and non-judgemental virtual space to build community and share strength. We welcome all women, two-spirit, gender queer, trans and non-binary people to attend.
We are also happy to share that we will continue to host our Sexual Violence Support Program throughout the fall and winter seasons. Out of Isolation! Survivor’s Meet-up is a low-barrier, weekly virtual space where survivors of sexual violence can connect, heal, and share their experiences. For more information contact Seema at (905) 403-9691 x2240.
FALL NEWSLETTER: ISSUE 1
B A CK T O S CHO OL
Your support will help ensure that Interim Place kids thrive this school year Back to school season is upon us, and this year families will face a unique set of challenges as they navigate education in the context of a global pandemic. Students will need extra support this year- whether to catch up with their peers, stay on track while distance learning, or stay safe in a classroom setting. This year, it will be especially important for each student to have their own set of school supplies. With your support, we will ensure that children at Interim Place have all they need to excel at school this year. Helping out is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Back to School Essentials- $50 Your $50 gift will help one child check off their back to school list. Help provide a backpack, notebooks, a pencil case, and more.
Homework Club- $100 Your $100 gift will provide one threehour homework club session for six children between ages 3-18.
Family Field Trip- $250 Your $250 gift will provide one family of three with much-needed quality time away together during the school year.
INTERIM PLACE P.O. BOX 45070 Mississauga, ON L5G 1C9
905-403-9691 EXT. 2223
CHARITABLE REGISTRATION: 10571 0059 RR0001
S TAY IN TOUCH