L’EntourElle, the organization that helps women who are victims of domestic violence in the Pontiac, believes that the housing shortage in the Outaouais region has an impact in the quality of services offered by the shelter. The Executive Director of L’EntourElle, Gisèle Mousseau, explains:
In a press release issued on July 8th by the seven shelters mandated with helping women and their children who were the victim of domestic violence from the Outaouais region (la Maison d’Hébergement Pour Elles Des Deux Vallées, la Maison Unies-Vers-Femmes, l’Autre chez soi Inc., le Centre Mechtilde, la Maison Libères-elles, l’EntourElle et Halte-femmes Haute-Gatineau), the organizations denounced the situation saying that it could have important consequences for women who are victim of violence.
“This situation not only endangers the right to exercise decent housing, but also the right to security. [...] This prevents us from welcoming other women and children who are trying to escape domestic abuse.” As a result, some shelters, such as L’EntourElle, have already been forced to refuse to accommodate to newcomers due to a lack of space, which limits the supply of services.
As for the youth worker at l’EntourElle, Camille Gervais, she said that the human side of her job particularly affects her.
In order to improve the services offered to women, the seven shelters in the Outaouais region have, in the last days, worked with the CISSSO to suggest possible solutions. Among the solutions in the possibility of adding of an eighth shelter. Once again, Gisèle Mousseau, gave more details.
Access to housing is an issue that is currently concerning many of the regions across Quebec, including the Outaouais. According to the Observatoire du développement de l’Outaouais (ODO) 3rd edition of their bulletin ’’Sous La Loupe’’, published in January, it was noted that regions, particularly in rural areas, are concerned with the lack of suitable housing. Currently, the Pontiac is in a delicate position regarding the rate of housing needed.
"According to 2016 census data, the Pontiac and Vallée-de-la-Gatineau have among the highest rates of housing needed in Québec.”
It should be noted that L’EntourElle provides services to counter violence against women in any shape or form; physical, verbal, psychological, sexual and economic. To find out more, visit www.lentourelle.com or call 819-683-2709.