"Together Apart" - Bridging the Gaps

Presenters: Amy Deschamps, Manager of Transitional Housing, YWCA Hamilton and Renee Hall, VAW Counsellor, YWCA Hamilton
Date: July 23rd, 2020
Password: IrmhpCamh1


This webinar explores gaps and unintended consequences that ‘shelter in place’ and public health directives have had on women experiencing violence and VAW sector services. Discussion of unique safety and risk considerations that COVID has presented and emerging strategies /adaptations to respond effectively. Explore particular needs of newcomer and immigrant women and families within a family violence and COVID context. Reflect upon meaningful self-care practices across intersections of personal, political and professional stressors. 

Presenters' biographies

Amy Deschamps, Manager of Transitional Housing, YWCA Hamilton

Amy (She/ Her) has over 15 years’ experience working in the Violence Against Women sector, through both front line and leadership roles. Amy applies an intersectional lens when looking at the complexities of experiences for marginalized individuals experiencing violence. Amy has centred her career around promoting inclusivity in the Violence Against Women sector and works to integrate an equity lens in increasing access for traditionally underserved populations within this sphere. Amy has experience in developing training and capacity building opportunities for frontline staff in the areas of safety planning and risk assessment.

Amy draws upon her expertise in mental health, harm reduction and complex trauma to inform and co-create learning environments through her roles as ASIST trainer and Truth and Reconciliation facilitator for the YWCA Hamilton. Amy currently manages several programs under the Housing Department at YWCA Hamilton, including Phoenix Place, a Second Stage Housing program for women and children fleeing violence, as well as new piloted Gender Based Violence program, that will integrate VAW Counselling specific to newcomer and immigrant women experiencing violence.

Renee Hall, VAW Counsellor, YWCA Hamilton

Renee lives all things social justice! With an educational background in Psychology and Biology from Dalhousie University and Social Work from McMaster University, Renee looks to shake the room through her love of building community connections, challenging the status quo, and amplifying the voices of the margins. Seasoned in racialized peer support, counselling and teaching through McMaster University, housing and homelessness support with the YWCA Hamilton, as well as food equity and community network building through her grassroots initiative StreetEatz, Renee brings passion and a sharp Black Feminist and Critical Race lens to every conversation and every table. As she is comfortably situated at the YWCA Hamilton, Renee looks to bring a liberating, empowering, and critically conscious force to the VAW team and Hamilton community at large.

Amy Deschamps headshot

Renee Hall headshot