Women’s Shelters are More Than a Safe Place to Stay

by Linda Leigh
Categories: Blog
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Based on surveys filled out by most of the approximately 600 residential shelter facilities in Canada, a Statistics Canada study found that on a given night, about 3,300 women across the country were sleeping in shelters to escape abuse.

Shelters are more than a safe place to stay. They provide vital services and resources that enable women who have experienced abuse, and their children, to rebuild self-esteem and take steps to regain an independent life.

“Don’t give up on us,” says one survivor, “because so many of us have already given up on ourselves.”

Across Canada, Salvation Army shelters such as Kate Booth House in Vancouver, Mumford House in Saskatoon and The Salvation Army Family Life Resource Centre in Brampton, Ont., provide support to women and families who are homeless because of a crisis in their lives. But living a life free of fear takes more than a safe place to stay.

A recent survey by The Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses reveals that the three biggest challenges for shelters are lack of government funding, gaps in services and supports for marginalized women and lack of supports when a woman leaves the shelter.

Every woman should feel she has a chance to live in a healthy environment. But it’s not always that simple. How can we make things better?