This week we spoke with Marina Bazalitskaya, who shared a couple of profound stories about the impact The Cridge Transition House for Women has in the life of their clientele. We can’t wait to share!
Hi Marina! Please describe your team and all those involved with The Cridge Transition House for Women?
Our team at The Cridge Transition House for Women consists of strong, dedicated women professionally trained in counselling and social work. They have devoted their careers to supporting vulnerable women and children. Our team works under the wise management of the manager Marlene Goley, who has dedicated 30 years to working with families at The Cridge Centre. We also have a team of passionate volunteers who make women feel safe and at home.
Marlene shared a story about a woman who, after a couple of days in the transition house, started to make cookies for herself and her children. She still had bruises on her face and body left by her significant other, but she was relieved to create a new normal life by making a batch of cookies to celebrate peaceful abuse-free mornings.
She still had bruises on her face and body left by her significant other, but she was relieved to create a new normal life by making a batch of cookies to celebrate peaceful abuse-free mornings.
What programs and support services do you offer women and children who are leaving a violent or abusive situation at home?
The Cridge Centre offers a safe place for women with or without children who are escaping violent or abusive relationships. All forms of abuse, including emotional, financial, and sexual, are taken seriously. The Cridge Transition House for Women provides safe emergency shelter for up to 30 days, supportive counselling, advocacy and information. The Cridge Supportive Housing offers up to 3 years of transitional family housing in a supportive community setting. Units are offered at lower-than-market rents for single women and families moving from crisis situations. The Cridge Dovetail Services provide support, advocacy, and education, including individual and group counselling, help with parenting, supportive counselling for children, assistance with household and life skills, and connection to community supports.
How does your program affect and support the wellbeing of women and children?
Having safe harbour and stability helps women to concentrate their attention on healing and rebuilding a life for themselves and their children. Many women are seeking opportunities to continue education or have stable employment. Counselling services and life skills training allows women to take care of their financial future and make wise financial decisions.
Our support workers help women and families to connect with other services and receive legal advice, and if needed, immigration consultations.
What challenges have you and your team had to overcome?
We asked our manager of Supportive Housing, Candace Stretch about her experience:
“To paraphrase the author and activist Vikki Reynolds: “It’s not the clients that burn me out, it’s the system.” I think the biggest challenge I face in working with clients is the lack of a proper social safety net for women fleeing violence. Women face incredible financial and legal hardships when they leave (abusive situations). Many wind up living in poverty for months, even years, after leaving. And the lack of affordable housing options available to these women means that many stay in very dangerous situations for far too long.”
“It’s not the clients that burn me out, it’s the system.”
What has been the most rewarding moment you’ve experienced working with The Cridge Transition House for Women?
“One day, the grandmother of a woman I had helped walked into The Cridge with a bouquet of flowers and a card. It read: “You saved my granddaughter’s life.” I don’t think I will ever forget that moment. It is a privilege and honour to be a part of a woman’s journey into safety.”
“One day, the grandmother of a woman I had helped walked into The Cridge with a bouquet of flowers and a card. It read: “You saved my granddaughter’s life.”
How can others contribute to your organization’s work?
You can help by providing on-going support to our families and becoming our monthly donor. Your donation will allow us to build a safe and stronger community by providing families with housing, financial and emotional support and allowing women to start their new abuse-free life as active members of our community.
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