Make Home Safe For Everyone - Yorktown Family Services

Make Home Safe For Everyone

Women, children, and families in your community need your help now!

Yorktown and the families we support need your help to make their homes safe again.

As an accredited children’s mental health agency and Violence Against Women (VAW) services provider, Yorktown provides accessible mental health treatment, community-based prevention and outreach services, integrated youth-focused development opportunities, and VAW shelter and services, programs and supports so that we can equip women, children, youth and families to create positive change in their lives.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges faced due to the public health restrictions and various “stay at home” orders, women and children are even more vulnerable to gender-based violence and abuse.

Dubbed around the world the “Shadow Pandemic”, the rise in gender-based violence cases due to the pandemic has been a cause for alarm.

  • A Statistics Canada report released in October of 2022 stated that police-reported family violence has increased for the 5th consecutive year.
  • In 2021/22, Yorktown saw a 64% increase in the clients seen through our VAWS community support programs, underscoring the strain the sector has seen in the past two years.

According to the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, on average, a woman is killed by intimate partner violence every six days. Every six days.

Why Yorktown?

On November 29th, 1984, Shirley Samaroo returned home to pick up some belongings after fleeing from years of physical and emotional violence. When Shirley arrived at her home, she was murdered by her husband. Two years later, in the spring of 1986, the Shirley Samaroo House opened its doors in Toronto’s West End, focusing on meeting the needs of immigrant women.

Over 20 years ago, the Shirley Samaroo House became Yorktown Shelter for Women and continued to provide much-needed shelter services and community supports to women and children fleeing lives of abuse.

Shirley Samaroo’s legacy lives on at Yorktown Family Services.

Today, Yorktown has an array of Gender-based Violence and Abuse Intervention, Prevention, and Support Programs which include:

  • Mindful Fathering: an evidence-informed, psycho-educational group program designed to reduce harm and promote mental health by working with fathers who have exposed their children to gender-based violence.
  • Here to Help Child Witness Support Group: a group for children who have witnessed gender-based violence, and their mothers, to help the healing begin
  • Keeping Families Together: partnerships with local child welfare agencies to provide rapid, in-home treatment to families where there is a risk of an apprehension or placement breakdown.
  • Black Lives Accessing Care: culturally appropriate support of black-identified children and youth involved with child welfare, at risk of care, or are leaving care and transitioning back to family or into the community
  • Male Child Advocate Worker: providing support and a positive male role model for children living at the shelter.
  • Rapid Access Therapy: Same-day access with a focus on trauma as a result of the pandemic including gender-based violence or trauma histories/symptoms resurfacing as a result of the quarantine and state of emergency measures.

We need your help.

Despite the staggering increase in gender-based violence, Violence Against Women service providers continue to be severely underfunded nationwide. Every year the gap between government funding and the actual cost of providing these essential, life-saving services continues to grow.

On the anniversary of the passing of Shirley Samaroo, please consider donating so that we can prevent future tragedies and save lives.

With your help, we can close the gap in funding so that we can continue to make homes safe for vulnerable children, youth, women and families.

  • Your donation will help so many in our community in significant ways:
    A one-time gift of $120, or $10 a month for a year, provides a mother or a child with immediate access to a mental health therapy session.
  • A one-time gift of $200, or $15 a month for a year, provides an abuse survivor with an 8-week transition program to live a life free of violence.
  • A one-time gift of $500, or $42 a month for a year, provides a father, who has exposed their child to abuse, access to group programming to help them break the cycle of violence.
Child on father's shoulder in park
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