Hamilton shelter set to offer more beds for women and children fleeing violence

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Published November 24, 2023 at 3:12 pm

Hamilton shelter to increase capacity get more beds
Interval House of Hamilton receives funding to create more shelter beds for women and children in need

A shelter in Hamilton that helps women who are escaping abuse, violence or trafficking recently announced that it used recent grant money to upgrade its security features and will put more funding towards increasing capacity. 

Today (Nov. 24), local MPPs Sandy Shaw and Monique Taylor met with the Interval House of Hamilton (IHOH) team to celebrate the awarding of two capital grants totalling $220,900 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to the Victoria and Friends shelter.

“Without safe emergency housing, it is often impossible for women and children to flee domestic violence. Interval House provides a vital service in our community and I am happy they have this opportunity to grow their services,” said Sandy Shaw, MPP for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, in a statement.

IHOH said it used a $71,200 grant awarded last year to install accessible, safer entranceways and upgrade the shelter’s security system. 

A second grant of $149,700, awarded in September, will fund renovations that will allow the shelter to add six more beds to serve more women and children in need. 

The shelter currently boasts 22 beds, according to the Halton Community Services Directory.

In a statement, Sue Taylor, the executive director of the IHOH, said the shelter has “struggled tremendously for the past few years” with a lack of beds and not enough capacity or space to help people fleeing violence. 

“We remain overcapacity in a system that is strained. Improving our security and moving ahead with an expansion of six new emergency shelter beds will help reduce the risk of lethality for women and children who are in desperate need of emergency shelter,” she said.

The shelter supports women, with or without children, by helping them access a safe emergency shelter, crisis lines, safety planning, counselling, and community programs. 

In a news release, the shelter also said it works to end gender-based violence by working with men, boys and other groups to raise awareness and provide education on bystander intervention and healthy relationships.

“Violence against women is an epidemic in our communities,” said Hamilton Mountain MPP Monique Taylor in a statement.

“These grants will provide much-needed enhancements to our emergency shelter system to help protect women and children from violence. Sincerest gratitude to Interval House of Hamilton for being a pillar in our community.”

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