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United Way East Ontario helps those impacted by violence in Middle East

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The United Way East Ontario is giving a big boost to Jewish, Palestinian and Muslim organizations impacted by the violence in Gaza and Israel.

"What we are hearing is the conflict in the Middle East is causing all sorts of trauma, distress, anger and that’s having an impact on those communities in particular," CEO of United Way East Ontario, Michael Allen said.

As tensions rise in the Middle East, the organization is giving $100,000 to organizations serving those communities to help people struggling with mental health and trauma.

"People are feeling unsafe, people are feeling isolated and that’s taking its toll, so thank God we have those supports available in the community. They just don’t have enough resources and this investment is going to help them manage that," Allen said. 

An additional $30,000 is going into hate prevention and community resilience programs.

During last week's Ottawa Police Services Board meeting, Chief Eric Stubbs said there has been a significant increase in antisemitic hate crimes since the Israel-Hamas war broke out in October. 

"We’re committed to working across the board on hate and violence and that was the work of united for all to stand up together and provide a counter narrative to those things that are causing the violence," Allen said.

The money adds to the nearly $1.1 million invested annually into community-based mental health programs and $220,000 invested annually into hate and violence prevention.

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