A Safe Place stays open

A support centre for women and children will keep its doors open after receiving nearly $90,000 in Yukon government funding.

A support centre for women and children will keep its doors open after receiving nearly $90,000 in Yukon government funding.

A Safe Place, run out of the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre, initially struggled to stay afloat after its funding ran out last year.

The program provides a hot meal, support and a place to be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings when a lot of other services are closed.

It’s aimed at women who have mental health issues, don’t have stable housing or have a hard time keeping themselves and their children well fed.

Women can relax, eat, do laundry, use computers and telephones and access counselling and support services.

“A Safe Place is filling a gap in services for women in Whitehorse by providing a warm meal, a non-judgmental atmosphere, and an opportunity to connect with resources on evenings and weekends when other service providers are closed,” Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre program coordinator Hillary Aitken said in a statement.

“Since the program’s inception we’ve had more than 1,200 drop-in visits from a wide diversity of women. This funding helps us maintain a vital program for Yukon women and children and we are very pleased to have received this support.”

A Safe Place has been running since December 2013.

The pilot funding ran out in July last year. At one point the group turned to online fundraising to keep things going.

They eventually received some money from the Community Development Fund to help with programming, as well as to collect data and analyze the effectiveness of the program, said Elaine Taylor, Yukon’s minister responsible for the women’s directorate.

That money ran out this month.

The new cash comes from a one-time $39,000 cheque from the Justice Department and $50,000 over two years, announced earlier this year, from the Prevention of Violence Against Aboriginal Women Fund.

Taylor said the plan is to find more secure funding for the program.

“We view this as a really important front-line service that no other group or organization is providing at this particular time. So we have made the commitment to work with them to find that long-term, sustainable, ongoing funding,” she said.

“That’s a commitment we’ve made to do and we have some time to work with them on that.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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