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January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2023 (Updated April 2020 to include Strategic Direction 5)


In partnership with our diverse community, Bethesda House provides secure shelter, outreach services, woman-centered advocacy, education and other supports to women and their children, empowering them to overcome the fear and oppression resulting from domestic abuse and all forms of gender-based violence.


A safe community free from domestic abuse and all forms of gender-based violence.


Strategic Direction 1: Maintain strong agency leadership

Goal: Continue to demonstrate accountability and responsibility to stakeholders (clients, employees, volunteers, colleague agencies, funders and the community at large) through effective governance.


1) Internally review Strategic Directions and Goals annually for continued appropriateness and revise if necessary

2) Monitor achievements toward Plan objectives at least annually

3) Implement the Board Work Plan in a competent manner, revising it as necessary

4) Take action as needed to ensure a “Low Risk” standing on the MCCSS Agency Risk Assessment

5) Provide Board members with governance training as needed

6) Take action as needed to ensure compliance with appropriate legislation.

7) Maintain consistent Board membership.

Strategic Direction 2: Enhance direct service provision

Goal: Respond to the needs of women, youth and children at the shelter and in the community in both traditional and innovative ways maximizing their safety and progress toward a life without gender-based violence.


1) In collaboration with other groups and agencies in the community, and using prevention, intervention and advocacy strategies, provide women and those presenting as women with high quality services and supports.

2) Address barriers to providing high quality service to our clients as they are identified.

Strategic Direction 3: Building and maintain strong community relationships:

Goal: Play a valuable role in the continuum of services in Durham Region and beyond, for women, youth and children dealing with domestic abuse and all forms of gender-based violence.


1) Hold annual events such as “Take Back the Night” and WALK-A-MILE-IN-HER- SHOES to bring the community together against violence and abuse in Durham Region and beyond.

2) Cultivate positive and effective strategic partnerships within the community by participating in, and taking leading roles where appropriate in, relevant initiatives such as DEAN, VPCC, DRIVEN, and other networking initiatives in community.

3) Provide community advocacy, prevention, and education on issues such as domestic and other forms of gender-based violence against women

4) Collaborate with community agencies to benefit clients, For example, CAS, DRPS, etc.

Strategic Direction 4: Maintain Agency financial viability

Goal: Ensure Bethesda House is in a financial position to be able to fulfil its Mission.


1) Continue to work with MCSS in a positive and productive manner to maximize use of available funding.

2) Maintain a positive agency profile in the community in order to maximize donation income.

3) Develop strategies to maximize revenue from the agency’s main fund-raisers (the Dinner/Auction and the Walk-A-Mile-In-Her-Shoes) while maintaining
their unique Bethesda House flavour.

4) Investigate and follow through with additional income-producing endeavours when possible.

Strategic Direction 5: Maintain the agency in a position to fulfil its mission throughout a pandemic.

Goal: Demonstrate high quality, flexible and responsive governance and operations in line with the evolving nature of the pandemic.


1) Work from a position of both responsiveness and flexibility in both governance and operations.

2) Take the steps necessary to protect the financial viability of the agency throughout the pandemic.

3) Take the steps necessary to protect the health and welfare of clients, employees, volunteers and students, in line with Public Health Ontario and other reliable resources.

4) Respect the orders, directives and expectations of MCCSS and the Province of Ontario.

5) When the above are conflicting, use sound judgement in decision-making moving forward.