Kathy Willis, Huronia Transition Homes

Huronia Transition Homes is a non-profit organization working to end all violence against all women.

Words of wisdom: TBD

Country: Canada

Website: https://www.huroniatransitionhomes.ca// www.operationgrow.ca

Industry: Women's Shelter

Organization size: 50


Interview with Kathy Willis, Executive Director, Huronia Transition Homes and Operation Grow, Canada

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Interview with Kathy Willis, Executive Director, Huronia Transition Homes and Operation Grow; Canada

Kathy Willis has always been a strong feminist advocate in the anti-violence movement. Kathy is the Executive Director of Huronia Transition Homes (HTH), a charitable organization in Simcoe County, working to end all violence against all women. Under Kathy’s leadership, HTH has grown from a single program woman’s shelter to a multi-program county-wide organization. They offer a women’s shelter with specialized services for women who have been sex trafficked, a sexual assault counselling and advocacy centre, a children’s program for children exposed to abuse against their mothers, and most recently, a social enterprise Operation Grow (OG). Through countless years of providing services to women, Kathy realized that HTH’s core programming was not impacting intergenerational poverty and abuse. Her vision for OG was to build a program that went beyond conventional programs for women who have experienced violence and provides opportunities to mitigate the impacts of trauma, isolation and poverty. At the heart of Operation Grow is a vertical farm that uses cutting-edge and accessible technology. Women are trained to grow lettuces, herbs and produce them in a climate-controlled indoor environment. Knowing that the project had to be sustainable, Kathy ensured that revenue from the sale of herbs and vegetables would provide sustainability to Operation Grow and help fund the programs and services of HTH. For her innovation and commitment to supporting women with a fresh approach, Kathy received the Ministry of the Attorney General Victims Services Award of Distinction in 2018.

United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal(s) addressed:
#1. No Poverty, #2. Zero Hunger, #3. Good Health and Well-being, #5. Gender Equality

Social impact:
Operation Grow is a social enterprise holistically designed to address poverty, food scarcity, de-skilling, isolation and the impacts of trauma for women with a lived experience of violence. Essential to Operation Grow is a vertical farm which trains and employs women at a living wage.

Website: https://www.huroniatransitionhomes.ca// www.operationgrow.ca

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