‘What this community needs’: Pikangikum First Nation opens safe house for families in crisis

A northern Ontario First Nation has opened up a brand new protected home designed to assist its residents heal from abusive and harmful conditions.

Pikangikum First Nation, a distant group about 230 kilometres north of Kenora, Ont., lately opened the Pikangikum Neighborhood Protected Home, a multi-unit facility designed to assist these in the neighborhood with nowhere else to go.

“We’re very excited to have a spot like this in our group to assist our members,” Jonah Strang, deputy chief of the Pikangikum First Nation, instructed

“It ought to assist out the households that often have issues at dwelling.”

Pikangikum First Nation was as soon as often called having a few of the highest suicide charges on the earth.

In 2000, British sociologist Colin Samson mentioned the suicide fee in the neighborhood had gone “by way of the roof” after reaching an eight-year common of 213 suicides per 100,000 individuals. On the time, Samson proclaimed that Pikangikum First Nation seemingly had the very best suicide fee on the earth.

Alcohol abuse stays a severe situation in the neighborhood of about 4,000 residents and a scarcity of housing has led to fewer protected areas for individuals trying to escape a doubtlessly harmful scenario.

“We have now multi-generational households that stay inside one dwelling,” mentioned Vernon Kejick, a victims’ companies advocate in Pikangikum First Nation.

Kejick is essentially thought of a key participant in seeing the challenge by way of and making certain it’s accomplished.

“I felt that it was my function to carry a facility like this into this group,” he mentioned.

The brand new protected home can maintain as much as eight households and likewise comprises a seven-suite lodge, which is able to assist present psychological well being staff with a spot to remain.

“It is so accommodating,” mentioned Jojo Alfonso, a trainer in the neighborhood. “It is good. It is what this group wants.”

Constructing the protected home was no straightforward process and took a number of years to finish. The multi-million greenback challenge relied on ice roads to move tools and supplies into the group.

“It was a mad rush earlier than the winter highway went out to attempt to get the ability in,” Kejick mentioned.

MCM Architects Inc., designers of the protected home, mentioned the ability will “present protected and safe shelter, emotional reduction and culturally applicable companies for people in the neighborhood in search of to flee violence or abuse.”

“The Protected Home will probably be dedicated to aiding victims of abuse; girls and their youngsters within the troublesome transition from an abusive and violent home surroundings to a optimistic, unbiased, and non-violent life-style,” the corporate mentioned. “The power would primarily supply protected, non permanent shelter with entry to help companies for girls, youngsters, elders (and) LGBTQ who’re victims of the numerous sides of household violence.” 

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