Lack of funding hampering aid to domestic violence survivors, report says
A study on shelters helping survivors of domestic violence become independent says a lack of funding is getting in the way of providing programs and retaining quality staff.
The study's authors say many organizations, known as second-stage shelters, often have to fundraise to cover the cost of their operations and pay employee salaries.
Wages in the sector are low, leading to high turnover rates, with staff often leaving for government jobs.
The report from Women's Shelters Canada calls for more funding to help increase the number of second-stage shelters, particularly in rural, remote, northern and Indigenous communities.
It also says the federal government's national housing strategy needs to remove barriers that prevent service providers from accessing money expand existing shelters or build new ones.
Gaelle Fedida, co-chair of the board for Women's Shelters Canada, says government funding programs are key to maintaining the critical services, but they don't always respond to the shelters' unique needs.