Elizabeth Fry Society for the Regional Municipality of Kitchener/Waterloo

58 Queen Street South
Kitchener, Ontario N2G 1V6
Telephone (519) 579-6732
Fax (519) 579-6367
e-mail: e.f.society@gmail.com

Mission Statement

The Elizabeth Fry Society for the Regional Municipality of Kitchener/Waterloo believes in helping to create a caring, egalitarian society which respects and supports women. Our mission is to address the needs and circumstances of women of all ages who are, have been or are at risk of criminalization. The Elizabeth Fry Society promotes and provides community-based alternatives to incarceration. Our purpose is to create choices for women, act as a liaison between women and existing services and to promote community awareness.

The goals of the Elizabeth Fry Society are to:

  • Provide supportive, gender-specific counseling services and practical assistance wot women of all ages criminalized or at risk of criminalization. The services are offered at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, with in the courts, in the community and at the agency.

  • Provide information to women and young women about the judicial process and community resources.

  • Advocate on behalf of women who are incarcerated, in the court system and in the community.

  • Promote community awareness regarding the social conditions that may contribute to women and young women becoming criminalized.

Programs and Services

Community Programs

(Housing) Dianna Ashly Transitional Home: The Transitional Home provides transitional shelter for women who are homeless and at risk of criminalization. The twenty-four hour staff provide support, crisis intervention, assessments and plans of care, counseling, information and referrals, and daily residential support and programming.

Court Support: Provides direct support to women criminalized within the court system. Support includes assisting and/or facilitating women's movement through the court process as well as resources and options available for women.

S.H.A.R.E (Shoplifting Alternative Rehabilitation Program): Linked to the Court Support Program this program has been utilized as an effective component for alternative measures and court ordered requirements. The group program addresses the issues that lead women into shoplifting behaviors.

Support and Referral Service: To refer women to community agencies and resources; to provide support by providing practical information, letters of support; encourage community involvement through recreation and leisure activities and provide linkages in other communities.

Women at Risk: This project is comprised of a community advisory committee and a steering committee to address needs of sex-trade workers within our community.

Community Development: To identify gaps in service; network and partnership with other agencies to develop and enhance programs and services. This includes assisting women with housing, employment, education, daycare issues, legal and family issues.

Public Education: To promote community awareness and involvement with women who are criminalized. This program includes public speaking engagements, and public forums.

Programs at Grand Valley Institution for Women

This federal institution is located at:

1575 Homer Watson Blvd
Kitchener, ON N2P 2C5

One-to-One Program: To match community volunteers with women at GVIW for Women for befriendment and support.

Institutional Services: Weekly appointments with women to address issues and concerns regarding deportation, National Parole Board hearings, legal issues, incarceration concerns and release planning. Recreation and leisure activities as well as seminars related to prison and reintegration issues are also offered.

Anger Management: To provide an Anger Management Program when scheduled to federally sentenced women at GVIW.

Mother-Child Program: To provide pre-natal and post-natal care to mothers who qualify for the mother-child program as well as developing services within the community. Services have included advocacy with child welfare agencies, interaction within the family unit and lineages with local agencies Partnerships with agencies such as the Conestoga College Daycare program have been able to provide daycare needs for children who live at GVIW.

Shoplifting-Fraud Program: To provide Shoplifting-Fraud Program to women in order to assist them with the issues that brought them into the prison system.

Community Support Program: Strives to create an atmosphere in which participants are encouraged to take charge of her personal reintegration plans and to assume responsibility within a supportive environment once released into the community.

Student Placements

The Society recognizes the need for students to gain practical work experience. Our society accepts student placements from our local college (Conestoga College) and our local universities (University of Waterloo and Sir Wilfred Laurier University) The areas of study range from social work, law and justice and clerical. This provides an opportunity for students to learn and acquire skills in a women oriented agency.

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