Bring violence-against-women services back to North York

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Did you know that women and children fleeing domestic violence in Ontario can’t always get the help they need? And yet in North York, the only shelter serving women and children closed its doors on May 19, laying off 32 shelter workers. 

The provincial and federal governments announced in April that they would invest $8.3 million to build a new shelter in North York. That investment is welcome, but it means that women in North York who need violence-against-women services will not be able to get them for two years or more.

The 30 shelter beds at North York Women’s Shelter (NYWS) have been moved to nine shelters across Toronto, but none of the jobs moved with those beds. At a time when women and children continue to be turned away from shelters, experienced counsellors have been removed from the system.

In 2013, Ontario’s Auditor General reported that 56 per cent of women who sought help from an emergency shelter in Ontario were turned away in the 2011/12 fiscal year. In 2016, Shelter Voices, the third national survey of shelters and transition houses for women and their children, found that shelters turned away 73 per cent of those seeking help across Canada. 

This is not acceptable.  Every community in this country needs violence-against-women services. And North York, with a population of over 670,000 people, is no exception.  

Together, we can make a difference. Because women should not have to wait for violence-against-women services in any community.

Please sign this petition to urge the Minster of Community and Social Services to reinstate violence-against-women services and jobs in North York.

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