In 2010, two desperate moms “found” each other while visiting their loved one at the local remand centre. Wondering how they would ever manage to get through this shattering lifetime event, one of them contacted the local John Howard Society. She met with their crisis worker who connected her with two others: a mom in the same situation and a caring community member. All of them met and “MOMS” was born. Interestingly, another mom had contacted the JHS looking for a support group just like ours. So the inaugural meeting included four moms and the community member, taking place in January 2011 at the Ottawa John Howard Society office. We have been meeting monthly ever since.
We have grown. From the initial meeting of five, we now have many more active members who participate according to their needs. A few of these are engaged community members who support us by advocating for change in the justice and corrections system.
Are we all mothers? Not anymore – we discovered that sisters, aunts, daughters, grandmothers and wives also need support to navigate this life changing journey. We meet monthly to share practical information and advice about the justice and corrections process. Through our own experience, we share what happens at every stage and support others going through the same. It helps to know what’s coming next.
We believe in supporting each other through this very difficult time. It is a place where you can talk openly, without worrying about facing judgement or criticism. We understand your grief and pain because we have been there. Our meetings are a safe place to share and unload your burden, total confidentiality is assured. Our only goal is to support you and give you strength throughout this journey.