Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society, in operation since 1980, has seen many changes over the last 31 years. What was once an old apartment building with 7 furnished suites, we now provide a state-of-the-art secure facility with 19 fully furnished apartments, a Community Housing program, and individualized services to each adult and child client based on their assessed needs.
An ever-changing organization committed to leading practices, we recently arrived at the decision to expand the Community Housing program, accepting the challenges that may bring. We will grow capacity by expanding the number of families we serve to 100 at all times by year end of 2013, and integrate child and youth services so all family member needs are met.
The program, the only one of its kind in Canada which began as a pilot project in early 2009, has surpassed all targets and expectations since its inception. In the past year alone, we have been able to give 113 families the support and services required to live safely in the community and to work toward a healthier, happier life. It allows Discovery House’s mission and vision to extend in to the community beyond our residential program. There are many potential entry points to breaking the cycle of violence; this program allows us to reach women and children we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to help before. We can now give women and their children a home to call their own upon leaving the emergency shelter. This immediate stability and connection to the community minimizes the risk that the family will either return to the violent home, or face homelessness.
Every client is unique and has their own story to tell. Once stably housed, each family receives home-based support services from a case manager and a mental health specialist tailored to their needs. Their needs, skills, education, and support may vary, but the common thread that they all seek is a better life for themselves and their children. By supporting these families when they need it the most, we contribute to a safer, healthier and more vibrant community today and for future generations.
With our new strategies in place, Discovery House stands to help twice as many families as we could have before. This is a big task but one that we’re exhilarated to tackle. We are confident in our team and existing partnerships. We are motivated to develop new ones. We are excited to connect with our community and gain support.
The achievements of the past year were made possible by you. The tireless efforts and passion of our staff at Discovery House, the guidance and dedication of our Board, and the generosity of our donors and supporters continues to amaze and inspire. You allow us to continue to make the difference in the lives of women and children fleeing family violence. When a woman has made the decision to take her children and leave a violent home, it will be your contribution that makes the difference between housing them safely, and having them return to the violence. Your support allows them to regain their lives and their independence.
We thank you for your kindness and your generosity; for helping us move forward with our vision of a community free from family violence. And we invite you to join us as we embark on this new and exciting journey.
- A Message from Our Executive Director, Brigitte Baradoy