New avenue for conflict resolution in Windsor-Essex

Joyce Zuk at the launch of Community Mediation Windsor-Essex, October 29, 2019. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

A new community collaboration is giving residents an opportunity to solve conflicts outside of the legal system.

Community Mediation Windsor-Essex is a free service offered by St. Clair College, Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic and Family Services Windsor-Essex.

“It’s giving Windsor and Essex County an opportunity for individuals who may be in a conflict or trying to resolve that conflict,” said Joyce Zuk, executive director at Windsor-Essex Family Services.

Anyone in need of a mediator can contact the service, whether it be neighbours, co-workers, or family members. After a short intake process to determine if the conflict is appropriate for the service, the parties involved would be assigned a mediator. Mediators are community volunteers from all walks of life who have been trained to facilitate communication between the two parties.

“Our clinic is a voluntary clinic, the decisions and the support of the mediators would not be binding on the two parties,” said Zuk.

Funding for the program comes from the three organizations involved. St. Clair College students will be responsible for the administration of the program.