This has been a challenging year for everyone, especially women who rely on Willow’s Place. With restrictions in community spaces, program closures, physical distancing requirements and stay at home orders, our community is experiencing many negative impacts.
Through most of the pandemic, Willow’s Place had to prioritize spaces for women experiencing homelessness and who fully rely on Willow’s Place for shelter, food, and other basics needs. Unfortunately, women who had access to some form of housing were unable to come into the space for social support and other resources. Staff were unable to help them in person, and often not able to answer the phone due to increased crises in the hub. We were seeing a lack of much needed staffing numbers to support both the housed and unhoused women.
Even with a lack of ability to support many of our regular housed women, in 2020, 537 women accessed Willow’s Place.
Throughout the last fourteen months, we have had to adapt to the new and urgent needs of the pandemic. This includes creating a new staff position to support housed women! Willow’s Place could not operate without the generous support of its many funders, and we wanted to highlight the groups who have contributed to helping Willow’s Place this year.
Generous funding from the CWF and W4C has enabled Willow’s Place to support housed women through a Pandemic Support Coordinator (PSC), beginning in the spring of 2021 and lasting for a full year. The PSC will make connections with housed women, connect them to Mission Services’ programs and community resources, and support them during these difficult times
The Zonta Club of Hamilton has been a supporter of Willow’s Place for many years; this year their compassionate contribution will help cover program costs including food, hygiene items, and shower and laundry usage.
The RBC Foundation has been a funder of Willow’s Place for several years. Their two-year contribution will ensure that we are able to keep providing vital supports to hundreds of marginalized women.
IRC has been a generous supporter of Willow’s Place for many years. This year’s contribution will help us meet increasing need among unhoused women in our community.
Through their Local Compassion Fund, Meeting House has generously provided funding to help us support hundreds of women in need. The Meeting House has been helping fund Willow’s Place for several years.
The Patrick J McNally Foundation was a first-time funder of Willow’s Place in 2020! Their generous help has helped cover the costs of running Willow’s Place during the pandemic.
Significant gratitude goes to the City of Hamilton for recognizing the need in our community and the vital role Willow’s Place plays for women in Hamilton. We are very grateful the City has committed to continuing its support of Willow’s Place for the coming year.
To support Willow’s Place, give online here.