In Response to the COVID-19 pandemic Thunder Woman Healing Lodge has launched a program to assist individuals being discharged from Correctional Institutions and jails.
Around the world and across Canada, incarcerated individuals, public health experts, advocacy groups, and lawyers have drawn attention to the disproportionate risk of COVID-19 infection detained people face. On March 20th, the Ontario Superior Court ruled ruled that the “greatly elevated risk posed to detained inmates from the coronavirus” was a factor in whether to grant bail or early release.
But the pandemic is creating a release crisis too – replacing one major danger with another. Too many individuals are released from custody into precarious circumstances, with releases happening so fast, that many are homeless or unable to safely self-isolate to prevent spreading the disease to family and community.
TWHLS is providing transportation, access to COVID testing, food, and shelter relief for Indigenous men and women seeking safety upon discharge.
TWHL’s Covid-19 response has been made possible with the support and partnership of Miziwe Biik Development Corporation, the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC), Toronto Native Council Fire Friendship Centre, Native Women’s Resource Centre, Elizabeth Fry Toronto, Aboriginal Legal Services and Women’s College Hospital.