OTF grant supports criminalized women reintegrating into society

MPP Ted Hsu visits Elizabeth Fry Kingston to recognize an OTF grant that was used to renovate previously under-utilized office space into a state-of-the-art computer lab. Photo via Elizabeth Fry Kingston.

Thanks to an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant, Elizabeth Fry Kingston has renovated a previously under-utilized office space into a state-of-the-art computer lab.

On Friday, Jun. 9, 2023, local MPP Ted Hsu met with the team at Elizabeth Fry Kingston to hear more about the $47,500 Resilient Communities Fund grant and the subsequent renovation project, which was completed in April 2023 and will give self-identified, criminalized women a safe and quiet space to attend virtual programming, update their job skills qualifications, and connect with their loved ones, according to the organization.

“During a time when affordable housing is one of the province’s most pressing issues, this charity is especially committed to seeking affordable housing solutions for our most vulnerable populations. Elizabeth Fry is incredibly deserving of this OTF grant, and I look forward to witnessing them continue accomplishing their vision of dignity and equality for all women,” Hsu said.

According to a release from Elizabeth Fry Kingston, in addition to renovating the office space itself, the $47,500 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the OTF enabled the organization to purchase brand new computers, printers, webcams, standing desks, software licences, and more. Serving criminalized and vulnerable women and their families since 1949, the team at Elizabeth Fry Kingston recognizes the lack of reliable access to technology as a significant barrier for service users – particularly those women recently released from prison – to pursue their personal and professional goals successfully and independently in the Kingston community.

The newly renovated computer lab at Elizabeth Fry Kingston. Photo via Elizabeth Fry Kingston.

“The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant cannot be overstated,” said Kathryn Londry, Executive Director of Elizabeth Fry Kingston. “This grant has allowed us to build our technological capacity, not only making our programming more effective and consistent in uncertain times, but also helping to foster feelings of belonging, community, and confidence for vulnerable women in our community.”

Committed to empowering women through the provision of community outreach, social justice services, and affordable housing, Elizabeth Fry Kingston is already using their new computer lab to enhance their service users’ life skills and reduce the impact of generational poverty amongst marginalized women in Kingston, according to the release. To learn more about this and other programs at Elizabeth Fry Kingston, visit their website at efrykingston.ca.

The OTF, an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110 million into 1,022 community projects and partnerships. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

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