Waterloo Community Spotlight: Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region
180 Degrees Consulting Waterloo had the opportunity to talk to Jennifer Hutton, the CEO of Women’s Crisis Services Waterloo Region to discuss their non-profit’s various programs, missions, and impact in the region.
What is Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region?
Women’s Crisis Services Waterloo Region is an organization that provides support to women and children who are experiencing domestic or familial violence. They offer many programs and services catered towards helping women and their children in the community.
What is Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region’s impact?
Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region houses about 272 women in their shelters every year and helps over 1000+ women through their outreach program. It is empowering for the organizations to hear stories of women they helped in the past achieve great success. Many of the women they have helped over the years have gone on to write books, earn graduate degrees, start their own businesses and more.
Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region is constantly making sure that their programs and shelters are meeting the needs of the women who seek help. They continuously try to improve their programs in any areas possible to make sure that the women are getting the proper assistance they need.
How has the pandemic affected the organization?
Fortunately, the shelters run by the organization are relatively new and they are able to maintain social distancing protocols and keep their residents safe. Programs like their youth education program have gone virtual for the time being, while outreach workers make visits to women’s homes on their driveways to adhere to safety measures.
Generally, gender violence increases in times of crisis but the organization had a decline of calls. To make sure that women were able to get help when needed, they launched their online chat feature within 48 hours so women can even access their services even online.
After the pandemic, they hope to maintain their chat feature and hopefully introduce a text line. They also can’t wait to meet with everyone in person again as it is a crucial part to their work.
What can you do to help and why is it important?
With an uprise in support for the #MeToo movement, Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region hopes that the advocacy against domestic violence will be at the forefront as well. The organization hopes to continue their work in the “She Is Your Neighbour” campaign to not only raise awareness about the issue but to help prevent people from becoming perpetrators themselves.
To help this organization, they highly encourage people to volunteer in person once the pandemic is over. They also appreciate people amplifying their messages on social media, financial donations, and even organizing fundraising events on behalf of the organization. To see more information about the organization check them out here.
Thank you again to Jennifer for taking the time to speak with us about this wonderful organization.