Domestic violence shelters in Saskatchewan deemed essential during COVID-19 pandemic

As residents are asked to stay in their homes as more cases of COVID-19 pop-up in Saskatchewan, domestic violence shelters are staying open for those who need to leave an abusive or violent household.

All shelters in Saskatchewan remain open as staff quickly learn to adapt to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Much like healthcare workers, shelter workers are considered to be working in an essential service,” said Jo-Anne Dusel, executive director of the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS).

“They are going to show up to work when they can, whether or not there are people who are impacted by COVID-19 in the shelter.”

Dusel says PATHS is working closely with the government of Saskatchewan to make contingency plans to offer support to individuals fleeing violence. This includes extra expenses whether it be for supplies, staffing or making alternate arrangements for people.

“The most important thing everybody needs to remember is that there will be help available,” Dusel said.

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