Toronto, ON – On May 23rd, the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic welcomed MPP Jessica Bell to its Legal Department’s Meet and Greet event, where she formally congratulated the group on work that’s happening since receiving a two-year, $199,600 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the provincial government’s Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in 2023. Over the past year, the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic has been developing and implementing two medium to long-term programs that meet the new and expanded needs of at-risk survivors of gender-based violence. These programs address the organizational challenges that the Clinic has faced in recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, while also building capacity, resilience, and sustainability.

“Congratulations to the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic on their impactful use of the $199,600 Resilient Communities Fund grant,” said Jessical Bell, MPP for University-Rosedale. “The Self-Represented Survivors Support Program and Parent Relief Program are crucial in providing much-needed support to survivors of gender-based violence. The Clinic’s incredible work continues to make a significant difference in our community.”

Through the support of OTF grant, the Clinic is implementing a Self-Represented Survivors (SRS) Support Program and a Parent Relief (Childminding) Program. These programs will enhance the Clinic’s capacity to provide direct support and informational resources to Self-Represented Survivors in various legal situations. Survivors face barriers to justice, exacerbated by the isolation and other impacts of COVID, including service cutbacks such as reduced access to Legal Aid. The Self-Represented Survivors Support Program provides direct support with everyday challenges: explaining in simple terms how the legal system works; helping SRS clients to fill out legal forms relevant to their Gender-Based Violence situations; working on their behalf while empowering them to self-advocate; and working for access to Legal Aid, unpaid child support, and other legal remedies impacting survivors in the legal system.

“On behalf of our organization, I extend heartfelt gratitude for the support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Deepa Mattoo, Executive Director, Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. “This grant is truly appreciated, and will foster the resources, capacity, and support needed for survivors of gender-based violence. We believe these programs will make a significant difference in the lives of people we work with.”

As well, the Clinic has been able to determine the feasibility of re-introducing its Parent Relief (Childminding) Program for on-site client appointments and group program participation, by providing the Clinic with the information needed to understand the new parameters of a COVID world, including health and safety needs of infants and young children in an office environment. Information gathered has helped the Clinic to realign the role within its organization, revise job requirements and ensure that the program provides a safe and stimulating environment for the youngest and most vulnerable visitors to the Clinic.

These programs are helping with the Clinic’s effective engagement with the community. By addressing critical needs related to legal needs and appointment support for parents attending with children, the Clinic creates a more trusted environment for survivors and families. This funding has bolstered the Clinic’s resiliency and made it possible for the Clinic to adapt effectively during challenging times and remain evidence based.

“Non-profit organizations across Ontario deliver programming that makes a difference,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “That’s why funding that my ministry is providing through the OTF is so important. Our government wants to ensure that these programs and spaces remain the heart of communities
across our province.”

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Ontario government with a mission to build healthy and vibrant communities across the province. Last year, OTF invested more than $110M into 1,044 community projects and multi-sector partnerships. Projects aim to enhance economic well-being, foster more active lifestyles, support child and youth development, provide spaces for people to come together and connect, and create a more sustainable environment. Visit to learn more.

Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic: The Clinic is a multi-disciplinary, front-line service provider that assists more than 14,000 women a year to build lives free from violence through trauma-informed counselling, legal representation, and language interpretation. We envision a world where women and gender-diverse people live free from violence and discrimination. We passionately believe in the power of this work for individuals and families, for marginalized and racialized communities, for our city, province, and country.
For more information, please contact Madison Buckley for media interviews and quotes through
289-497-1048 or [email protected].