Elizabeth Fry launches campaign to raise half a million dollars for transitional housing

Elizabeth Fry launches campaign to raise half a million dollars for transitional housing

Group says women involved in the criminal justice system have no place to go

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Thunder Bay, Ont., set up a GoFundMe campaign this week to raise $500,000 to create eight to 10 more units of transitional housing to supplement the four units it opened in May 2021. Officials say there is a dire need for housing for women and gender-diverse people who are at risk of being involved in the criminal justice system, but it's challenging to find funding. "The people we work with have been people who have fallen through the cracks," said Mary Veltri, communications coordinator at the Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario, an organization that supports women who have been criminalized or imprisoned. "There is a need for that housing. And it isn't always recognized at a government level." A 2019 Lakehead University study in Thunder Bay found that women who have been involved in the criminal justice system were more likely to reoffend if they did not have adequate housing. Housing insecurity also threatened the recovery of women trying to stay sober after being released from jail. "There is a need for transitional housing in Thunder Bay that focuses on the unique needs of marginalized women who have experiences of trauma, poverty and violence, particularly Indigenous women," the report concluded. But a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation transitional housing program is only available for projects supporting women and children fleeing domestic violence, said Lindsay Martin, the director of operations and systemic advocate at Elizabeth Fry in Thunder Bay. "There isn't a lot of government funding for women and gender-diverse people leaving prison," they said. Similarly, shelter beds in women-only facilities in Thunder Bay are also designated for women fleeing domestic violence, Veltri said.

 

Original Article Link:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-efry-transitional-housing-1.6396808

 


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