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Our exciting new project to help women reclaim their lives

Escaping an abusive situation and learning how to survive and even thrive isn’t a quick process, nor one that happens on a definite timeline. Although women and their children find safety and support at our shelter, Victoria’s, that’s only the first stage of rebuilding their lives. Women’s Resources has just started an ambitious campaign to provide the all-important second stage.

If you haven’t heard about Open The Door, you soon will. We’ve purchased property on Logie Street in Lindsay where we’re going to build six affordable apartments for women, whether they have children or not. They can live there for up to two years while our amazing staff help empower them to eventually move out on their own, providing counselling and parenting support and a 24-hour help line.

Why the need for housing specifically for these women? High rents and a tight market locally mean that even though they desperately want to leave, abused women may have no option but to return to a dangerous home, where they face a greater risk of being harmed more severely or even killed.

Second stage housing gives women who’ve experienced violence a chance to regain their self-esteem and learn to live on their own, out from the shadow of a controlling partner. If they’ve been out of the job market or feel unsure about their skills, such housing helps them avoid falling into poverty, which can also drive them back to a violent situation. By giving them a safe, warm, caring place to live, close to local resources they may need to access, we can help them truly understand that they have value and deserve good things in their life.

We will be launching the public phase of our Open The Door Capital Campaign at our flag-raising taking place at Kawartha Lakes City Hall on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the first of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. We’re enormously grateful to the generous community donors who have already contributed almost $160,000 toward our fundraising goal of $500,000.

The whole project is expected to cost $2.4 million but we anticipate the price tag may exceed that upon completion.  The additional money will come from a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation grant as well as mortgage financing.

The dedicated team leading our Capital Campaign fundraising effort will be asking for your support. Any amount you can contribute will be gratefully received, and if you’re not in a position to donate, you can help by spreading the word. Keep an eye on the thermometer on our home page to track the campaign’s progress! Together we can “Open The Door” to a better future for women.

By Nancy Payne