CORNWALL, Ontario – Bereaved Families Ontario-Cornwall have announced that they have closed their doors.
“The office of Bereaved Families of Ontario-Cornwall is now permanently closed due to a lack of funding. Messages will be checked periodically and calls returned until June 25, 2019,” reads a statement on the Bereaved Families Ontario-Cornwall website. “If you are in immediate need of assistance, please call the Crisis Line at 1-866-996-0991 or the emergency information line at 211.”
They posted the announcement on their website on Friday, May 31.
Bereaved Families had been struggling with funding issue and announced back in March that they would have to cease operations unless they could find a new source of funding.
Bereaved Families has 11 offices that operate independently across the province, but they receive no government funding.
The office in Cornwall had one paid staff member who worked 21 hours a week. The total operating budget for the organization was $50,000 a year.
“It is with heavy hearts that the members of the present Board of Directors announce that, unless some of our grant applications are accepted or some major sources of funding are found in the immediate future, Bereavement Programs & Services offered at our office for 33 ½ years will be ending on May 31st, 2019,” Bereaved Families wrote in their farewell letter in March.
The organization helps people going through some of the most difficult times of their lives, the loss of a loved one.
In 2018, their services were used nearly 1,000 times. They had 126 new adult clients in 2018, and 21 new children or youth clients.
The organization was supported by 25 to 30 volunteers who helped with activities and 12 volunteer facilitators who helped to deliver services.