Volunteers needed to support victims of hate-motivated acts

© Can Stock Photo / michaeljung

An initiative to address hate in the community is in need of volunteers.

The Sarnia Lambton Alliance Against Hate (SLAH) recently formed as part of a partnership between the John Howard Society of Sarnia Lambton, Lambton Kent District School Board, Sarnia Lambton Local Immigration Partnership, and the Sarnia Police Service.

The program launched after it received a provincial grant for $103,180 over two years through the Safer and Vital Communities Grant.

SLAH Project Coordinator Lindsey Travis said over the past few months, the group has been working with local service providers to build a network of supports for victims of hate-motivated acts.

“We’ve been able to connect with a variety of individuals to discuss opportunities to do some of the referrals,” she said. “With that being said, some of that looks like legal supports, some counseling supports, things like that.”

Travis said many individuals and groups have already reached out to SLAH for support. She said hate-motivated acts can range from harassment, mischief, and assault.

“We know that hate-motivated acts are occurring throughout not only the Sarnia-Lambton area but across Canada,” said Travis. “Historically, we haven’t had this type of specific support in our area so it’s important to have it because we know that our citizens are experiencing these situations.”

Travis said SLAH is currently looking for a diverse group of individuals to volunteer in supporting others.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about what we’re doing and an opportunity to really support our community in order to promote inclusiveness and diversity,” she said. “It helps people to foster the discussion about hate-motivated acts so that way it enables the conversation to be a little more fluid and supports individuals coming forward.”

At this time, there is no cap on the number of volunteers needed. Travis said a volunteer information session will be held on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m., at the Insignia Hotel.

Individuals seeking support or interested in becoming a volunteer are encouraged to contact SLAH at 519-336-1020 ext. 010 or email slah@johnhowardsarnia.com. Further details can also be found on the John Howard Society website.