By Chad Ingram
Published Jan. 26 2017
Minden Hills township will donate $5000 to the Peterborough Haliburton YWCA to assist with the continued operation of the emergency shelter in Minden allotting $2500 from the 2017 budget and $2500 next year.
Jennifer Cureton director of philanthropyand communications for the Peterborough Haliburton YWCA made a presentation tocouncil requesting a one-time donation of $5000.
“I want to talk to you today about thelife-saving services we provide in Haliburton County” Cureton said.
The YWCA operates an emergency shelter inMinden for women who are victims of domestic abuse. In addition to the shelterthe YWCA provides a 24-hour emergency hotline counselling and other services.
The YWCA has operated in Haliburton Countyfor the past 30 years and according to Cureton last year provided 671 outreachcounsel sessions for women in the county and received 1209 crisis calls fromcounty women.
“We have a lot of families in poverty” shesaid of the county. “We see a lot of isolation and lack of transportation.There are a lot of hidden homeless here in Haliburton County.”
Cureton said some women stay with abusersexchanging sex for food and shelter.
The YWCA was forced to close its emergencyshelter in Minden for five months last year due to lack of funding.
“It was the first time we had to do thatand we hope we never have to do it again” Cureton said.
The YWCA receives 61 per cent of itsoperating costs from the government fundraising much of the rest. Cureton saidthe money that is spent in Haliburton County is raised mostly in Peterboroughand then transferred to county operations.
The organization is attempting to raisefunds so it can continue to provide the service with a goal of $120000 for atwo-year project that would include the continuation of operations as well as astudy on providing services in a rural area.
It has so far raised $90000 and isrequesting donations from municipal governments within its service area.
“This is not an annual request” Cureton stressed.“This is a special one-time request.”
“I was disturbed to know that the localshelter was closed for five months” Devolin said adding he'd wished the YWCAhad made this known to local governments much sooner.
Devolin said what was happening was aresult of funding cuts by the provincial government.
“We're seeing across the board fundingreductions” he said. “It's death by 1000 cuts. It's the beginning of anoffloading of provincial responsibilities to local municipalities.”
Devolin told Cureton he thought she'd bethe first in an avalanche of organization representatives coming to councilseeking funding to make up for reductions in provincial funding.
“I'm glad to hear what you're asking is aone-time thing” he said.
Cureton responded by saying thePeterborough Haliburton YWCA had experienced large cuts in its funding duringthe years of the Mike Harris government funding that had remained frozen.
“This is not a new trend” Cureton said.“It's a trend that's been going on for a very long time.”
Sayne thanked Cureton for her presentationsaying “we don't often hear the isolated incidents that take place in ourcommunity. The YWCA has been a resource in more ways than one.”
Sayne encouraged council to support therequest.
“I would like to see us include this assoon as possible in our budget” she said. Sayne said she thought that becauseMinden Hills and Dysart et al have larger populations than the county's otherlower-tier townships that should be taken into consideration. She began totalk about lack of transportation in the county.
“This isn't a five-minute monologue”Devolin interrupted.
After Sayne paused he said “just becareful what you say.”
“I guess I've been told” Sayne said.
Council also resolved to sign a letterexpressing the importance of the YWCA.