YWCA NWT will get $1M to run 'Safe Home' pilot project in 3 communities

N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod announced $1M in federal funding for YWCA NWT, delivering on a 2018 promise.

N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod announced $1M in federal money for YWCA NWT, delivering on a 2018 promise

YWCA NWT executive director Lyda Fuller, left, and N.W.T. Liberal MP Michael McLeod at Friday's announcement in Yellowknife. McLeod announced $1 million in federal funding to support a YWCA pilot project in the Northwest Territories to help protect women from violence. (Randall McKenzie/CBC)

The YWCA NWT will receive $1 million in federal money to launch pilot projects in three Northwest Territories communities to protect women against violence.

The money will help test new ways of "providing safe homes in smaller, remote communities that currently do not have spaces for women who experience violence," according to a news release Friday.

N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod made the announcement Friday in Yellowknife.

"This investment by the government of Canada will help YWCA NWT pilot alternatives to safe homes to better support survivors in our territory," McLeod stated in the news release.

The funding is part of a $50-million package announced in December 2018 by federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef. The money is meant to support survivors of gender-based violence and their families, including those who have been underserved, including Indigenous women and their communities.

The money is earmarked for a project called the Safe Homes Pilot to Increase Women's Safety in Rural Northern Communities.

According to information provided by the federal government, the project will include three smaller communities in the N.W.T. that do not have "safe spaces" for women who experience violence. These would be different from shelters.

"A shelter is a formal service where you have staff around the clock, seven days a week," said Lyda Fuller, executive director of YWCA NWT.

"A safe home is an identified space in a community that might only be staffed when somebody needs that particular option in a community…. It can be a house, somebody's home, it can be some kind of public space … maybe the nursing station."

Fuller said a safe space will be set up each in the Tlicho, Sahtu and Dehcho regions. The specific communities have not been identified yet.

The project will build on the findings of the Safe Homes program, which rolled out in several remote communities in B.C.

"With this investment, we are funding YWCA NWT to support survivors and their families," Monsef stated in the news release.