National Emergency Survivor Support (NESS) Fund

The NESSFund for our area is currently spent. We’re working on replenishing the Fund so that we can continue helping survivors in need.

Learn more about the NESSFund and how you can help support this life-changing work below!

What is the NESSFund?

YWCA’s NESS Fund provides immediate, one-time financial support of up to $2,000 to survivors of gender-based violence to help them leave abusive living conditions, emergency shelters or precarious living situations, like staying temporarily with friends/family or living unhoused.

Gender-based violence is an umbrella term describing harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms. This includes domestic violence and abuse, intimate-partner violence and family violence. 

“A lack of financial resources is one of the most common reasons survivors stay in abusive situations. Until this urgent and unmet need is addressed by government, YWCA Canada is taking action to help survivors escape violence and rebuild their lives.”

Raine Liliefeldt, Interim CEO & Director of Member Services at YWCA Canada

Who can apply for the NESSFund?

The fund is open to women, trans, Two-Spirit or gender-diverse people who are 16 years of age or older. Applicants must be seeking support to leave abusive living conditions or leave emergency shelters and/or precarious housing conditions (staying with family/friends; couch-surfing or living unhoused) they are accessing as a result of experiencing violence.

What can the fund be used for?

The fund is intended to help survivors to leave violence and establish safe, stable housing. You can apply for help with:

  • First and last month’s rent or rental deposits;
  • Rental arrears that make securing a new lease challenging;
  • Set up expenses for utilities (hydro, internet, phone, etc.);
  • Utility arrears that make setting up new utility services difficult;
  • Moving expenses;
  • Storage expense;
  • Travel expenses (Bus, train, flight costs);
  • Essential furniture purchases for a new home;
  • Gender-affirming care and services as needed by trans, Two-Spirit or gender-diverse survivors; 
  • Expenses related to attaining permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship; and/or,
  • Other essential expenses related to securing safe and stable housing.

How do I apply for the NESSFund?

To apply for the YWCA NESS Fund, please fill out the online application form HERE

I work with survivors; can I apply for support on their behalf?

Yes. You can fill out the application form on behalf of a survivor HERE

How can I help?

Right now, the project is equipped to provide 1,500 grants over the next 4 years in 12 regions across the country. We know we need to do much more to meet the needs of survivors nationwide. By donating, you’re standing with survivors. You can make your gift HERE

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please contact: for any questions related to the NESS Fund. 

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