Lanark County Interval House motion defeated

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Despite an October 10th motion of the Community Services Committee of Lanark County to refer it to the budget process, the Lanark County Interval House (LCIH) request for sustainable funding was unexpectedly reintroduced on October 24th and defeated by one vote.

“After a long journey across the County to all municipalities and ending with a positive and supported presentation to the Community Services Committee of Lanark County, we thought the request was being referred to the budget process in the same manner as all things budget related,” said Erin Lee-Todd, Executive Director of Lanark County Interval House, “but at the following meeting of the County – just 14 days later – the issue of women and children is no longer worthy of formal budget discussions.”

Lee-Todd expressed that Lanark County Interval House is disappointed and shocked by the sudden shift.

“No communication to inform us, a very negative report submitted by and approved by county staff, and a result that indicates that the people with the power are not adequately concerned about marginalized members of our community. The costs to the community are real and meaningful to the constituents of our county and must be taken seriously.”

By contrast, the County approved two additional motions related to the work to end violence against women.  In a motion moved by Susan Freeman and seconded by Keith Kerr, the county has voted to fully support LCIH in ways that bear no financial cost.

”and whereas the Council of Lanark County fully supports Lanark County Interval House in their role and services provided to the women, girls and children within the County; now therefore the Council of Lanark County respectfully requests to the Premier, Attorney General and Ministry of Community and Social Services that funding for shelters be increased and that actions toward ending violence against women be enhanced.”

Lanark County Interval House is ready to collaborate with the county and the staff awaits the County Council’s plan of action to work toward this approved motion.

“We are looking forward to working alongside our elected politicians of this county to see the motion to fruition,” says Lee-Todd. “We remain committed to ensuring that the voices of women and children of Lanark County are heard and responded to in a respectful manner.”

Delegations from Lanark County Interval House visited each individual municipal council prior to making the request to the Community Services Committee of Lanark County. Certain municipalities indicated a desire for LCIH to return to them if the request at the County table was not approved. Interval House plans to follow up with those municipalities.

In response to a suggestion in a submitted staff report that funding for LCIH would result in hardship to other community agencies, the Executive Director asserts that Lanark County Interval House remains clear that its efforts and requests have never been made in a manner that suggests it is more valuable than any other supported service of the county including youth centres.  The agency’s goal is to have equal consideration and value in view of the importance of the contribution it makes to the health of the community en whole.

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About Lanark County Interval House

As the only shelter and support service in Lanark County for victims of woman abuse, LCIH offers not only a 24-hour Help Line and Emergency Shelter but also extensive Outreach Programs for women and children including: • transitional support, • community support, • mother’s groups, child groups and youth groups, • Lanark Highlands outreach • prevention programs and public education. In 2011, Lanark County Interval House responded to 2259 crisis calls and helped hundreds of families through its Outreach services. All our services are free and confidential. The Lanark County Interval House website can be found at www.lcih.com

For more information please contact LCIH directly.

Erin Lee-Todd                                    Brenda Hurrle

Executive Director                           Management Assistant

613 257-3469 ext 22                         613 257-3469 ext 23