News and Updates

Check back for new updates and news – or follow us on facebook to see all the current happenings!

International Women’s Day 2022

It’s been two years since the world was turned up-side-down. We’ve seen irrevocable, complex change, challenge, and struggle. And somehow, while the sun is just starting to peek through the clouds again, war has been brought to the lives of millions of innocent people.

It’s enough to make you want to curl up in bed, under the covers, and just try again tomorrow. And honestly, no one would blame you (we’ve done that a few times ourselves).


And there’s always a but.

Even though so many of us are exhausted, heartbroken, emotionally, and physically drained, we have seen so many incredible examples of women who get up every day and make the world a better place. Women leaders have received international praise for how their countries navigated this pandemic. Kamala Harris became the first female, Black, and South Asian American to become Vice-President of the United States. The U.S. women’s soccer team just settled a five-year lawsuit for equal pay with the U.S. Soccer Federation in a historic case. And these are just the women making headlines. At Huron Women’s Shelter, Second Stage Housing and Counselling Services, we see women becoming advocates in their own lives, taking back control of their narratives, making incredibly difficult decisions in the worst possible circumstances. It’s awe-inspiring. It’s enough to keep you going. We’re honoured and privileged to be able to witness it.

And at the end of the day, that’s what we’re walking away with over the last two years. It’s not the constant, seemingly never-ending grind of bad news after bad news; it’s the ability of women to move forward, to spark change, to do better despite it.

We know that when women set out to make the world a better place, they do. And they change it not only for themselves, but for their families, their communities, and for future generations. They do it so that even when the world seems so dark, there is always, always a light to look forward too.

This International Women’s Day, we invite you to celebrate these accomplishments. Celebrate all the women in your life who have ever supported, inspired, or been there for you, even when it would have been so much easier not too. Celebrate the big things, the little things, celebrate ALL THE THINGS. Invite your support circles to celebrate with you. Because together, no matter what the odds, we can and will accomplish whatever we want to.

Corey Allison

Executive Director

Huron Women’s Shelter, Second Stage Housing, and Counselling Services


Corey Allison is Executive Director of the Huron Women’s Shelter, Second Stage Housing and Counselling Services.

Every year, when the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH) releases their Annual Femicide Report, I brew myself a cup of tea, find a cozy blanket, a quiet space in my house, and read.
I read about women like Natalie Bartlett from Sarnia. She loved travelling, music, and going to concerts. She was a mom who had two little girls, who will now spend the rest of their lives without her.
I read about Ava Burton, from Whitby, who is remembered as a spiritual and loving mother, who loved to create and paint. She had a deep affinity for butterflies.
I read about Bernice Nantanda Wamala, from Toronto, who loved to smile and laugh, dance and play. She will be remembered as someone who was full of life and love. She was three years old.
Dec. 6 email.png
I read every profile of those who were killed in Ontario as a result of femicide. This year, there are 58 of them. The list is heavy. It honours those who died, but also describes the cause of death, those who have been charged in relation to their deaths, and all those who will miss them. Sisters, sons, mothers, brothers, friends, and entire communities.
Prior to Covid, every year on December 6th we held a ceremony (The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women) to grieve these losses; along with the 14 women who were killed at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1989.  Not only was this a time for us to come together and acknowledge these lives,  it was also an opportunity for awareness, education and conversation with our entire community.  The hope always being that next year there will be no names added to the list.
But this hope is never realized. In fact, in the first  three months of 2021, there was a significant jump in femicides over the first three months of 2020:
While this news is horrifying for everyone, for those of us who work in the gender-based violence sector, it’s not surprising. The isolation, the tensions, the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, are all additional stressors escalating tension and violence. We’ve witnessed the impacts of COVID-19  in our own organization over the last two years.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has also resulted in the cancellation of our in-person December 6 ceremony in 2020 and 2021. It seems then, more important than ever, that we take some time to review, reflect, and talk about these names, these people we’ve lost, and how we ensure their legacies are honoured.
The opportunity we had for education, awareness and conversation has changed. While we can’t do it in person, we still have the responsibility to make sure that it happens. 
I invite our entire community to find some quiet time in your day, and read the  Annual Femicide Report.  It’s important for all of us to take a moment and remind ourselves of why this is such an important issue. It’s important to educate ourselves about femicide, gender-based violence, and gender-inequity. And it’s important for us to walk bravely into tough conversations with our colleagues, with our family, with our friends, and with our community.  We need to understand and illuminate how power structures continue to disempower the women and families we live and work with every day.
But most importantly, we need to read about Krista, Cileana, Cheryl and Jasmine. We need to honour the lives of Leah, Bernice, Christine and Daisy. We need to acknowledge all 58 names on that list. And then, we get to work.
Corey Allison,
Executive Director