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Human trafficking in Elora: Meet the charity supporting local victims

'We help women to reclaim their power': Elora House has helped more than 40 survivors in the past decade
Elora House is a sanctuary for survivors of human trafficking / Stock

The ordinary streets of Elora hide a silent crisis. Within our own communities, girls as young as 15 are caught in a web of exploitation and abuse, their stories hidden from view. 

“Walking down the street, you wouldn’t know that a girl is trafficked or in trouble,” explained Amber Shurr, Program Manager at Elora House. “These girls are people you pass in the street and you never would know.”

Elora House is a beacon of hope amidst this darkness. They provide a sanctuary dedicated to supporting victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. 

“We don’t just offer a place to stay for a while,” explained Amber. “We teach women and girls the tools to rebuild their lives and rejoin society.”

Over the span of a decade, more than 40 women have found sanctuary within Elora House. 

“Many of these women arrive at Elora House after years of abuse, often starting in childhood,” Amber shared. “They never learned how to cook for themselves, how to manage health conditions or budget for a normal life.”

One of the programs at Elora House is dedicated to assisting the women in obtaining their Grade 12 qualifications. For many, their history of abuse prevented them from completing high school.

Alongside these concrete skills, the sanctuary teaches women to overcome shame and build their sense of self-worth.

The results of the centre’s programs speak volumes – with 70% of women achieving personal goals such as reclaiming custody of their children or securing employment. 

In one uplifting story, a woman has just gone to university after receiving support from Elora House.

Central to the success of these programs are the dedicated staff who serve as caregivers, mentors and nurturers. Through activities like art, animal-assisted therapy and nature excursions, they guide these women toward self-discovery and healing.

“We help women to reclaim their power: To heal from their past and learn independence,” Amber said. 

Elora House is not government-funded, so the charity relies upon independent donations to continue its vital programs. 

If you would like to find out more about Elora House and how you can help, visit or get in touch directly at [email protected].

EloraFergusToday is proud to make a difference in our community by highlighting extraordinary individuals and organizations with this Cares feature, a foundational piece of our EloraFergusToday Cares Program.

The EloraFergusToday Cares team's mission is to create meaningful change in Elora and Fergus - and inspire others to do the same.