2020 was a year of milestones for Shelter Movers Waterloo Region (SMWR), including the launch of our services at the end of the year. Although the pandemic has presented unique challenges in starting a chapter, it is also a time where the need for Shelter Movers’ service is greater than ever. The United Nations has called violence against women during COVID-19 a shadow pandemic due to increasing rates of domestic violence seen across the globe. Waterloo is no different; regional police have reported an increase in daily domestic violence calls since the start of the pandemic.*
*Source:Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region
How SMWR Helps
Shelter Movers’ service aims to help families experiencing abuse transition to a life free from violence by providing moving and storage services at no cost. After launching our chapter, we were eager to start serving the community, and in December 2020, we completed our very first move. In order to ensure the safety of the client and our move team, all volunteers were trained in safety protocols and adhered to provincial guidelines on COVID-19. This success was the result of months of hard work and dedication by our volunteers, and would not have been possible without the financial support and in-kind donations provided by our generous community partners.
SMWR Launch Event
To celebrate launching, SMWR will be hosting a virtual event on January 21st, with politicians, business owners, volunteers, and community partners expected to be in attendance. The event will formally introduce our chapter and its service to the region, and will allow us to further our connections with the community. As one of the most diverse and fastest-growing regions in Ontario, Waterloo has many established services in place to help those experiencing gender-based violence. Our chapter looks forward to partnering with these agencies and building on their great work in order to provide survivors of abuse with the proper support they need.
Interested in learning more about our chapter or joining the team? Visit our chapter page for more information on how you can make a difference in the community.