New VSLG coordinator for North Grenville

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Victims Services of Leeds and Grenville (VSLG) now has a designated Community Coordinator for North Grenville. Collette Johnson started in the part time position on April 1, and her case load has been steady ever since. She gets a lot of referrals from the OPP, but she has also had a few individuals contact her to access VSLG services. “We’re still trying to get the word out there,” she says.

As the Community Coordinator for North Grenville, Collette is focused
on connecting victims of crime, or survivors of a traumatic event, with much needed resources and services. She has five year’s experience in the field working with VSLG, Interval House, and the Assault Response and Care Centre in Brockville, and is also in the middle of completing a psychology degree. The position was created with the support of the North Grenville Municipal Council, which saw the need for a dedicated VSLG presence in the community.

Collette’s position is a bit different right now, due to COVID-19. She was originally planning on being at the North Grenville Public Library on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday every week, as a way to be visible and connect with the community. Unfortunately, she is unable to do this right now due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, she has been busy working over the phone and through Zoom. Part of her job will also be providing public education in the schools and other community organizations about things like human trafficking and domestic violence.

For now, she is getting creative and planning some informational videos and online training to make sure VSLG is still spreading their message in the North Grenville community. “The plan was always to be out in the community and provide awareness,” she says. “Awareness can create a lot of prevention.”

Since the COVID-19 shut down, VSLG has seen an increase in domestic and mental health related issues. Collette often refers people to the Victim Quick Response Program +, which connects victims with services, such as free therapy sessions, that might not be available in their area in a timely fashion. “Anyone who is struggling can contact me,” she says.

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