Since 1978, Yellow Brick House has been one of the largest providers in Ontario of life-saving support services and prevention programs to meet the diverse needs of individuals, families and communities impacted by domestic violence and abuse. Under normal circumstances Yellow Brick house provides safety and security to women and children, offering 51 beds and cribs in their 2 Emergency Shelters, counselling services for women and children, legal support services, transitional housing support and has counsellors available 24/7 to help individuals in crisis through their Crisis and Support Lines. They also deliver public education programmes focused on increasing awareness, abuse prevention, recognising and responding to abuse, and what a healthy relationship looks like.
Providing food to the families under Yellow Brick House’s care is a significant part of their core business. Under normal operating procedure the organisation receives substantial food donations and purchases in bulk from wholesalers. Volunteers come 3 times a week to manage the food supply. They have industrial freezers and fridges which allow them to take large donations and purchase in bulk to keep costs as low as possible. Due to COVID-19 and the government’s social distancing regulation, health protocols and Emergency Orders the Yellow Brick House has suspended its volunteer and community engagement programs and cannot accept its usual donations or use its usual procedures. The result is that each individual family is having to go to a commercial store and pay retail prices for food. The Scheinberg Relief Fund has provided financial support to cover the incremental cost of providing food to the women and children at Yellow Brick House for 6 months while public health and the government continue to battle this horrible pandemic.