August 12, 2022, Toronto, ON – The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic was honoured to receive a transformative $100,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in late 2020. The grant was used to focus on the delivery of services available to marginalized and racialized women disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Resilient Communities Fund supports the Clinic’s commitment to being and remaining responsive to emerging community needs with client-centred services, innovation, and evolution, grounded in an evidence-informed approach.
“The investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to ensure the needs of those most at risk of gender-based violence, deemed a shadow pandemic during the global outbreak of COVID-19, were understood and addressed,” said Jessica Bell MPP for University—Rosedale. “Knowing the Clinic is relentless in advocating for survivors and working to promote equitable service provision is reassuring to everyone in the community and gender-based violence sector.”
Beyond the support to direct services, the investment supports the Clinic’s staff to adopt and use new technology solutions to reconceive service delivery in ways that include health and safety planning for staff and clients. This approach includes screening and scheduling technology, an online phone system for seamless connection with clients from home or office, the creation of secure online group programming, and the loaning of information technology to clients to ensure their easy and full participation regardless of their location.
“The benefit of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant is invaluable,” said Deepa Mattoo, Executive Director. “Throughout the pandemic, the grant allowed us to expand our reach remotely as avenues to onsite, low-barrier services shrank. Our focus now is to plan to ensure that whatever obstacle we encounter, the Clinic is resilient enough to embrace that challenge and prepared to provide essential services to women and gender-diverse survivors of violence with the critical, barrier-free services they need.”
The grant enables the Clinic to continue to engage with consultants and work with our board members and staff on strategic planning, sustainability initiatives, and project evaluation. Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the outcome of these efforts is a strategic plan that is responsive to pandemic realities and places the needs of those most at risk of being overlooked or left behind up front where they belong and with services created to fill visible and critical gaps.
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Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is a specialized clinic offering trauma-informed legal, counselling and interpretation services to women and gender-diver people experiencing violence. The Clinic honours the memory of Barbra Teena Schlifer, an idealistic young lawyer who was sexually assaulted and murdered on the night of her call to the bar of Ontario on April 11, 1980. Learn more about the Clinic at www.schliferclinic.com
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Since 2020, OTF has supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.
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Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic