In 1987, the Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services (VCARS) was launched as a pilot project through the Ministry of the Attorney General in three locations in Ontario. The pilot programs were designed to test responses by police forces and community organizations to the needs of victims of crime. In 1990, the VCARS pilot projects were evaluated as successful and the program was put into place across Ontario.
With the support of a Founding Committee, made up of local partners; the green light was given in 2007/2008 to move ahead and establish a victim services program in our Region.
Sunset Area VCARS Regional Office is located in Kenora and provides immediate on-site service, and phone support to victims of crime or tragic circumstances, 24 hours, seven days a week. With the consent of a victim, police officers and other Emergency services can call Sunset Area VCARS at 1-877-467-2815 to provide immediate emotional and practical assistance and community referral services to victims for appropriate and long-term assistance; as needed.
Sunset Area VCARS works in partnership with all Regional police services and other emergency services (EMS, Fire, Hospital etc).
Sunset Area VCARS is governed by a Volunteer Board of Directors, comprised of community members that support this initiative.
Core funding for Sunset Area VCARS is administered by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General Victim Services Secretariat by way of surcharges on fines imposed by the courts through the Victims’ Justice Fund. As a registered not-for-profit agency Sunset Area VCARS also depends on fundraising, grants and donations to enhance and support services to victims of crime that are not eligible for safety-related crime funding through the VQRP Program.
SAVCARS mandate is to provide immediate short-term emotional and practical support and referral services to victims of crime and tragic circumstances, and follow-up calls within 48 hours, as approved by the victim/s. These services are provided by trained volunteers, at the request of an officer and/or other first responders, 24 hours, 7 days a week. All services are offered with consent from the victim/s.
Sunset Area VCARS volunteers provide support to victims in co-operation with Police Services and other first responders within the Region.