ChangeMAKERS Stories
Jul 27

Saskatchewan ChangeMaker: The North East Outreach & Support Services

In June 2016 North East Outreach & Support Services opened the first newly built Domestic Violence Shelter in the province since 1989.  Based in Melfort, this community-based organization provides services to individuals and families in north east Saskatchewan affected by any type of violence. It offers personal violence prevention and support, community outreach services and public awareness programs, as well as a resource center and 24-hour crisis line. North East Outreach and Support Services also provides counselling, information and education, advocacy and referral programs to help women and children achieve safety and stability in their lives.

The 16 bed, short-term Domestic Violence Shelter has been fully occupied 3 days after opening in 2016 and has not been empty since.  It facilities care and transition for women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence situations and want to start a new life away from violence. While in the facility they have access to counselling and in house programming. This programming helps them in the areas of parenting, budgeting, nutrition and mental health just to name a few.

North East Outreach & Support Services also fulfills a critical need for the communities of North East Saskatchewan region. Counsellors travel to surrounding communities such as Tisdale, Nipawin, Naicam, Kelvington & Cumberland House. This ongoing outreach is essential to support those that cannot travel to the organization’s operation in Melfort. They are readily accessible to provide regional residents in need with information regarding services, support and counselling if they are being abused in some way.

Presentations to build awareness and educate are also a big part of what this community based organization does. They go out to schools and community groups with a focus on topics such as service provision and what the public can do to be involved. Building healthy relationships, teen dating and sexual assault are also issues to be shared.

Most recently North East Outreach & Support Services partnered with a few hospitals in the region as well as the doctors and nurses that work in these facilities, to provide Sexual Assault Kits to those suffering from a sexual assault.

Since October 2016 this organization has maintained an Emergency Receiving Home for Children who have been apprehended from their homes. This program is run under the Ministry of Social Services and houses five children.

Before opening of the Domestic Violence Shelter, the North East Outreach and Support Services employed 5-6 people. Today they staff over 40 positions.

North East Outreach and Support Services is fulfilling a key role in the fabric of community and economic development. Today, local economic development is a multi-dimensional approach that recognizes economic, environmental and social well-being are interdependent. This organization is leading the way!