QUEEN’S PARK – Windsor-West MPP and Community and Social Services and Homelessness critic Lisa Gretzky tabled a motion in the legislature today demanding that the Liberal government increase resources for community-based supports for women in Windsor.
“Emergency shelters for women and children in Windsor such as Hiatus House and the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women are operating over-capacity,” said Gretzky. “They are being forced to set up beds on the floor, and to turn clients away. They are in dire need of additional funding and resources, but the Wynne government just isn’t listening.”
In Windsor, almost one in four women live below the low-income line. Among all cities in Canada, Windsor also has the highest rate of children growing up in low-income households. Additionally, women in Windsor experience higher rates of unemployment and earn wages well below the national average, contributing to an already critical situation.
“With hydro bills skyrocketing and continuous cuts to crucial services like health care under this Liberal government, women and families in Windsor are struggling,” said Gretzky. “Windsor’s community-based support services are incredibly valuable institutions, with staff that work extremely hard to improve the quality of life for women and children in our community, but they can’t fully serve the community and meet demand without adequate resources.”
House of Sophrosyne, a residential treatment facility with specialized services for women with substance misuse issues and their families, is also dealing with a lack of addiction beds and a three to five month wait list for women who need intervention right away. With Ontario’s opioids crisis reaching new highs, the demand on services is even greater.
“Oftentimes when the government is confronted with this critical situation in Windsor, they choose to respond by reciting a laundry list of their accomplishments. They refuse to admit that there is a problem; a problem caused by their consistent underfunding and neglect,” said Gretzky.
“Women in Windsor need action. This begins with the Liberal government finally admitting that our shelters are at a tipping point and providing community-based support agencies with the resources they need to help women thrive”
That, in the opinion of this House, the Government of Ontario should reverse years of chronic underfunding and provide adequate resources for Windsor’s community-based support agencies for women and shelters for women, in an effort to increase women’s access to family services, counselling and addictions services, work integration, mental health and wellness supports; and improve quality of life for the one in four women and one in four children who live below the low-income line in Windsor.