About Ernestine’s

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About Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter

Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter was opened in 1983 by a group of community members who saw a need for a safe place for women and children fleeing violence. Since that time, Ernestine’s has assisted over 4,200 women and 4,500 child and youth clients.

The founders were pleased to name the shelter after Ernestine van Marle, a local community activist who gave them support and guidance as they began the shelter, and continued to support the shelter’s efforts in ending violence against women and children until her passing in 2006. Ernestine embodied all the characteristics that our shelter aspires toward: energetic, community minded, supportive, and dedicated.

Our Mission: Why We Exist

Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, an organization run by women, provides support and shelter for women and children escaping violence.

Ernestine’s assists women and their children in rebuilding their lives by providing crisis intervention and a range of holistic support services, while acknowledging the multitude of issues facing survivors of abuse.

Ernestine’s adapts its services to honour diversity and the unique needs of the individual.

Ernestine’s promotes awareness, education and advocates for early intervention and prevention.

Our Guiding Principles

Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter recognizes the impact of violence on children and acknowledges that the rights of children are separate and distinct from their parents.

Ernestine’s recognizes each woman’s right to self-determination.

Ernestine’s acknowledges that violence can be physical, emotional, psychological and sexual.

Ernestine’s is managed by an Executive Director and is a participatory organization accountable to our Board of Directors and Stakeholders.

Ernestine’s operates from a feminist, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive framework.

An Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Framework is:

A perspective that confronts all aspects of injustice and inequality within society’s institutions, structure, systems and practices and is intended to understand and eradicate racism and oppression in all of its forms.

Ernestine’s strives to provide accessible, appropriate, and relevant services to children, youth and women within an anti-racism anti-oppression framework. We value the identity of each individual who has experienced and/or witnessed violence.

Acknowledging that we still have work to do, we are pleased to announce that we provide client centred and supportive counseling and planning for you and your children that is respectful in a space that is becoming increasingly accessible:

  • Access to external interpretive services
  • Access to culturally specific food
  • A range of culturally appropriate programming
  • Appropriate referrals to community  agencies
  • Social Action committee
  • Ramps at main entrances
  • 2 Barrier free bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Accommodation for support person
  • Accommodations for service animals
  • TTY , elevator and some automatic door openers
  • Facility was built in 2006 in compliance with the Ontario Building Code (1997)
  • Access to First Nations Elders for counselling and support

We are currently developing an action plan to meet the compliance requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005)

 

Strategic Priorities

Partnerships

We will develop community partnerships with agencies and grassroots groups to enhance our excellent service delivery to women, youth and children. These strong partnerships will support community engagement and diversifying funding opportunities.

Education

We will develop and deliver, alongside our stakeholders, multi-platform education about gender-based violence. We will continue to use an anti-rascism and anti-oppression framework for this education.

Financial Sustainability

We will build a long-term sustainable funding model that supports Ernestine’s to deliver valuable services for women, youth and children impacted by violence.

 

Our Program Results for 2017-2018

Received 1,809 crisis calls

Assisted 50 women and 61 children in-house, as well as 151 community clients

Conducted 1655 counselling sessions

416 safety plans were created

Children and youth counsellors engaged with our children and youth for individual support 3,798 times

Held 363 child and youth group sessions

349 counselling sessions were provided to community clients

830 referrals were made to community partners

41 referrals for legal support

187 referrals for housing support

324 accompaniments were provided to clients for various appointments

45 housing applications submitted

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