Agency for women experiencing abuse, addictions opens fourth location in Thunder Bay, Ont.

July 13, 2018

A local healing agency that strives to support families and women experiencing abuse is celebrating the opening of their fourth location in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Thursday.

Beendigen Anishinabe Women's Crisis Home & Family Healing Agency is an organization that provides help to women who are facing domestic abuse or suffering from alcohol and drug addictions.

The new Beendigen office opened at the Victoriaville Mall to provide more assistance and services like a walk-in counselling program.

"Walk-in counselling will be on a daily basis, Monday to Friday," said Debra Vermette, the executive director at Beendigen.

"Where we were at the other site, that wasn't available and there are a lot of clients that need that help right away, so they are able to come in and not have to make an appointment."

She said a new anti-human trafficking program prompted the organization to open a new location and expand their counselling services.

With eight staff members on site, Vermette said the new location will provide individual and group counselling, grief healing circles, crafting groups and drop-in counselling sessions for clients and their families to attend.

"As we all know the Indigenous population is migrating to Thunder Bay," Vermette explained, "and with it comes a lot of the issues that have come from colonization and residential schools, so there is a need for healing."

She said organizations like Beendigen will not only help women live their 'life free of violence' but it also helps them 'integrate back into the community."

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