Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS

INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES

Family Violence Interventions

Program name:

Grandmother's House

Organization:

Native Council of Prince Edward Island

Location:

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Target Group:

Women who are vulnerable (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal)

Contact Name:

Pam O'Neil

Phone:

902-367-3339

Email:

hepc@ncpei.com

Website:

www.ncpei.com/programs_grandmothers_house.php

Program Overview
History:

The facility was founded in 2005 and hosts numerous coordinating gatherings of local women's organizations who work with vulnerable women. The safe nature of the facility is seen as an appealing quality to facilitate comfortable liaison among the organizations.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To support vulnerable women and meet their survival needs in a safe environment, using Aboriginal culture as the primary approach.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

At intake, the Medicine Wheel is used to help the woman tell her story, and this holistic approach is used throughout the woman's process toward developing a healthy balanced life. Elders are brought in as needed to do ceremonies. With Aboriginal women, the goal is sharing knowledge of spirituality. Some Aboriginal women residents share their own traditional teachings. The use of the traditional ways is often more about sharing teachings in the Aboriginal community. Traditional Aboriginal ways are also used with non Aboriginal women, but it is more as teaching, rather than sharing. However, culture specific teachings and approaches are also used with non Aboriginal residents.

Components of program:

Residents are encouraged to look at themselves in a holistic way, not as experienced in some other mainstream organizations who tend to focus on specific issues. The program monitors and supports survival issues, such as securing physical safety, food and clothing. The program seeks to ensure that "Flash Fires" (retriggering experiences of trauma) don't occur that may return the woman to her feelings of vulnerability.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding is provided by Native Council of PEI; the Department of the Status of Women Canada; the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy; City of Charlottetown; and Murphy's Pharmacy.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Programming decisions are made by the Native Council of Prince Edward Island's Board of Directors. On the board, some members represent the community volunteers of the program. The Board share their opinions and direct how the shelter is run.

Partners:

N/A

Other relationships:

N/A

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

No evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

N/A

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the growth of awareness in the community with regard to the program.

Achievements:

The program has the means to keep women safe and off the streets.

Challenges:

Obtaining funding. Bed bug infestations are a challenge.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. The process takes time to support the women to move out of survival mode so it is important to keep track of the women's needs. The program would need to be created with the ability to offer this flexibility in service delivery.

Resources:

Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.

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