Alternatives for Women, a Picton organization helping women escape domestic abuse, is renovating a home in Prince Edward County.
Once finished, it will be the first women’s shelter in the community.
Leah Morgan, the organization’s executive director, says that Alternatives for Women currently pays for transportation to get women to shelters in either Napanee or Belleville.
But it’s a situation that doesn’t always work for everyone, she added.
“There are a number of women that just can’t leave the area because this is where their children’s school is, this is where they work, where their support system is,” Morgan explained.
“Since April 1st we’ve had 16 women refuse to leave dangerous situations because they didn’t want to leave the county,” she added.
In addition to an emergency bed, the new shelter will also house four transitional units and one long-term affordable apartment.
The entire project comes at a budget of about $500,000 and they hope to open their doors by September.
But the organization says that they can’t fund the project alone and are looking to the community to help raise the funds through a GoFundMe campaign.
“Being able to provide an emergency space for the women we have showing up at our office will make a huge difference in the way we deliver service to the women and the safety planning we do with them,” Morgan said.
Domestic violence, Morgan notes, is on the rise not only in Prince Edward County but in Canada in general.
“Stats Canada used to say once every six days a woman was killed in Canada due to domestic violence,” she said. “About a year ago they changed that stat to once every four days.”
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