New services in Kitchener for victims of domestic violence

Posted on: Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kitchener – Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has partnered with Mosaic Counselling and Family Services in Kitchener to help victims of domestic violence. The collaboration is part of LAO’s strategy to increase client access points and provide timely and effective service to low-income Ontarians.

LAO staff will provide legal aid application services and free summary legal advice on-site as part of the Family Violence Project of Waterloo Region. The first of its kind in Canada, the Project allows victims to access “wrap-around services” such as counselling, assistance with safety plans and legal services – all under one roof.

The initiative is based on the Family Justice Center, a highly successful model launched in San Diego to combat the difficulties victims can face when trying to access services in their communities. Victims of domestic violence can visit a Family Justice Centre, connect with someone that they can trust, and be guided through a number of services available in that location.

The Family Justice Center model has succeeded in breaking the cycle of violence, decreasing the number of homicides and empowering victims. It has also helped to increase efficiency and coordination among service providers so the instances of victims returning to an abusive home are reduced.

LAO lawyers and intake staff can also assist with the preparation of family court documents, processing certificate applications and helping with emergency legal matters. LAO staff will be available at Mosaic Counselling and Family Services at 400 Queen Street South in Kitchener on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact:

Carmelo Runco
District Area Director
Legal Aid Ontario
Hamilton - Kitchener District Office
110 King Street West Suite 780
Hamilton ON L8P 4S6
Phone: 905-528-0134
Fax: 905-528-1857 TTY: 1-877-449-4003
Toll Free Fax: 1-877-288-2334

Julia Manuel
Coordinator, Family Violence
Project of Waterloo Region
Mosaic Counselling and Family Services
400 Queen St. South
Kitchener, ON, N3H 5K4
Phone: 519-743-6333 ext.229
Fax: 519-743-3496