COVID-19 pandemic has revealed urgent needs among Canada’s at-risk communities
LONDON, Ontario - Connectivity is a critical digital lifeline for women in Southwestern Ontario experiencing domestic violence during COVID-19. Rogers is now providing phones with free voice and data plans to help women in crisis in partnership with women’s shelters in Kitchener / Waterloo, Cambridge, London, Goderich, Stratford, Woodstock and Windsor.
Rogers Communications today announced partnerships with women’s shelters across Southwestern Ontario, providing connectivity to support vulnerable Canadians during this global health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed urgent needs among Canada’s at-risk communities, including women and children who may be facing the reality of being at home with an abusive family member.
“With a deep commitment to serve the communities where we live and work, Rogers is committed to finding ways to help provide an essential digital lifeline and critical supports for residents in Southwestern Ontario who need it the most,” said Philippe Oille, President of Southwestern Ontario Region, Rogers Communications. “Whether calling emergency services, accessing support, or staying in touch with loved ones, the donations are aimed at helping vulnerable women with their immediate and crisis needs.”
Rogers is providing complimentary devices along with six months free voice and data plans to organizations including Anselma House in Kitchener/ Waterloo, Haven House Women’s Crisis Services in Cambridge, Huron Women’s Shelter in Goderich, Ingamo Homes in Woodstock, Atlohsa Family Healing Services and Anova: A Future Without Violence in London, Emily Murphy Centre and Optimism Place Women’s Shelter and Support Services in Stratford. Matthew House in Windsor provides shelter for refugee claimants including women and children who have fled their home countries because of violence, including domestic violence.
“We’ve been serving Southwestern Ontario for over 30 years, but COVID-19 has brought our community new challenges and urgent needs,” said Raymond Deleary, Executive Director, Atlohsa Family Healing Services. “Thanks to the generous support from Rogers during this difficult and uncertain time, so many of our at-risk community members now have the ability to reach our 24/7 crisis line while having the critical connection to the online world. Indigenous community members face compounding challenges during a pandemic such as this one. Our community thrives on relationships and communication with each other, Rogers has ensured this is possible even in the most difficult of times."
“This spring, we began to experience what happens when the pandemic of COVID-19 meets an epidemic of gender-based violence,” said, Jessie Rodger, Executive Director, Anova. “We had to change our services to ensure safety and support for survivors of violence, and we quickly realized the critical need for technology so our vulnerable clients and community members had a safe way to reach out for help. Because of our partnership with Rogers, survivors of gender-based violence can now stay connected to their counsellors, our crisis and support line and loved ones as they navigate leaving abusive situations and the dangers of COVID-19. Without this support, survivors in our community would struggle to connect to healing services – we are so very grateful.”
If you are a woman living in an abusive home, or you know someone who is, you can call your local shelter’s 24/7 crisis line for advice and support. Find your local shelter and its crisis line on www.sheltersafe.ca at the link below.
Rogers is also partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area, providing tablets with six months of free service to ensure the families and “Littles” who rely on this critical connection get the digital tools and service they need. Fido is providing a local London chapter of Pflag Canada with a tablet and free wireless data to enable virtual peer-to-peer support meetings in support of the LGBTQ2S community.
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