OUTSaskatoon will be receiving more than $1.1 million over five years from the federal government to support LGBTQ2 victims and survivors of gender-based violence.

Randy Boissonnault, the first openly gay MP from Alberta to be elected into the House of Commons, made the announcement Friday morning.

The Department for Women and Gender Equality will provide close to $550,000 over five years to support OUTSaskatoon’s project called Transformative Care for LGBTQ2S survivors of Gender-Based Violence: A Prevention and Intervention Action Plan. The project will develop and test how to provide services for LGTBQ2 adults and youth who experience gender-based violence.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is putting in the remaining $560,000 over five years for the organization’s project called Understanding Gender-Based Violence in LGTBQ2S Communities. This project will provide training and mentoring for educators, health and social service providers on how to recognize and respond safely to those impacted by gender-based violence in Saskatchewan and throughout the Prairies.

“There’s a lot of pain in the community … there’s a lot of people who are marginalized, there’s a lot of hidden gender-based violence inside the LGTBQ2S community. It’s really important for us to work with experts, like OUTSaskatoon to be able to get to the bottom of that, to train service providers, because you can’t help someone get through gender-based violence unless you have somebody who can help that particular person,” Boissonnault said.

OUTSaskatoon started working on the two projects earlier this year, saying the funding will help hire the right staff and build the right team.

“It is incredibly exciting … the five year time line for the projects is a phenomenal amount of time to do really do this work well,” OUTSaskatoon executive director Rachel Loewen Walker said.

Both Loewn Walker and Boissonnault said while $1.1 million is a good start to “combat” gender-based violence within the LGBTQ2 communities, more can always be done.

“The money is never enough, until gender-based violence is done,” Boissonnault said.