VANCOUVER – The Helping Spirit Lodge Society is receiving $25,000 to help Aboriginal women and children who are affected by domestic violence and fleeing abuse rebuild their lives.

“For 25 years, the Helping Spirit Lodge Society has provided exceptional service to women and children fleeing violence. In 2007, I was part of an initiative with the City of Vancouver to purchase a 36-unit apartment building at Kingsway and Dumfries that would become the new home of the Helping Spirit Lodge,” said Sam Sullivan, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek. “Since then, the lodge has helped many women and children move through trauma and find a safe place to stay. This significant investment will help the society continue to offer these invaluable services, which provide education, safety and protection, and promote a healthier community.”

Aboriginal women and children make up a large percentage of British Columbians who are affected by domestic violence and other crimes. In fact, Aboriginal women in B.C. are nearly three times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than non-Aboriginal women.

This funding will allow the Helping Spirit Lodge Society to improve programs and services and make them more accessible to the Aboriginal women and children who need them.

For example, the subsidy will be used toward the cost of:

  • Transportation to a transition house/safe home, a doctor’s appointment or lawyer meeting, or to fly a high-risk client out of the community;
  • Medical and legal services;
  • Important documents, such as identification;
  • Clothing and personal items if the woman/child had to leave their home quickly.

Today’s announcement is part of the provincial government’s second- and third-year commitments under the three-year, $5.5-million Provincial Domestic Violence Plan to provide direct services for Aboriginal children, youth and families in rural and remote communities.

The B.C. government commits more than $70 million per year in prevention and intervention services and programs that benefit victims of domestic violence and other crimes.