The December 6th Fund

How our clients use the December 6th Fund micro-loan from the YWCA

The December 6th Fund provides micro-loans through the YWCA to women and children leaving abusive situations. Miia Suokonautio, Executive Director of the YWCA in Halifax, recently spoke about the impact of these loans on the Mainstreet NS with Jeff Douglas podcast.

Typical cost breakdown for each micro-loan: 60% housing, 30% phone, 10% safety

What Are the December 6th Fund Micro-Loans?

The December 6th Fund provides interest-free micro-loans with a flexible and affordable repayment schedule based on individual means.

Who Uses the Micro-Loan?

The rate of gender-based violence is increasing. According to YWCA Halifax, “Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16, and this number does not reflect unreported cases of violence”. In 2020, the YWCA issued 32 loans, and in 2021, they had already issued 54 loans by October. Suokonautio believes this increase is partially tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be eligible for these micro-loans, women must be…

  • 18 years or older with a source of income (income assistance or other benefits are acceptable)
  • living in Nova Scotia
  • currently fleeing, or have recently fled, abuse or violence.

Suokonautio says these loans are essential as they help women who are typically excluded from loan systems or traditional banking.

Financial Insecurity Is A Huge Barrier to Fleeing Abuse

A third party evaluator was able to interview individuals who received a micro-loan. It was found that the primary barrier to leaving an abusive situation was fear of violence or death, followed closely by financial insecurity. The third largest barrier was fear that their children would be exposed to violence.


The $500 micro-loan is a small amount of money, but it provides women with the opportunity to improve their lives. Two-thirds of recipients shared that having access to money, via these loans, enabled them to leave their abusive situations. In addition, 90% said they are doing better now.

It is not easy to just leave. It takes money and support and you need a safe place to go. I was able to leave a bad situation and make a safe environment for myself and my kids.

Micro-loan recipient

How Are the December 6th Fund Micro-Loans Used By Shelter Movers Clients?

At Shelter Movers, we often refer our clients to this micro-loan service offered by the YWCA. Sometimes our clients have kept their belongings in storage lockers, but they have fallen behind with their payments. With the December 6th Fund micro-loan our client can pay their storage rental fees, and then we can move our client’s belongings into one of our free storage units.

How Can I Help?

Refer Those in Need

At Shelter Movers, we often refer our clients to this micro-loan service offered by the YWCA. Sometimes our clients have kept their belongings in storage lockers, but they have fallen behind with their payments. With the December 6th Fund micro-loan our client can pay their storage rental fees, and then we can move our client’s belongings into one of our free storage units.

Donate and Volunteer

Learn more about how you can support survivors of gender-based violence by donating or volunteering with Shelter Movers.

Be an Ally

Donate and Volunteer

  • Educate yourself and others on gender-based violence and its impacts on individuals, families, communities, and society.
  • Listen to the stories of survivors and people who experience gender-based violence. Make sure that survivors know that you believe them and that it is not their fault.
  • Speak out against gender-based violence and speak up when you hear others make light or joke about gender-based violence.

Where Can I Learn More?

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