Source: article by Terri Eger, published in Bridges December 4, 2015
When crisis hits, women may find themselves forced to leave their homes quickly with limited resources.
A brave step, it’s a new life for them and their children but nearly impossible on their own. The YWCA offers emergency shelter to women, children and youth in Saskatoon. Last year 593 individuals sought shelter with the agency that provides assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“Women come to us from many situations,” said manager Kim Fisher. “They may be fleeing domestic violence; they could be struggling with mental health issues, drug addictions, poverty or homelessness.”
Within 48 hours of arriving at the YWCA shelter, women meet with trained counsellors to develop a case plan that may include housing, counselling, schooling for children and safety.
Accommodation for up to 30 days is provided in 19 family and single rooms, while Turning Points transitional housing provides long term stays of up to two years in 14 single rooms. Margaret’s Place houses girls ages 16 to 21 in six rooms for long term stays, and gives them extra assistance with budgeting, schooling, life skills and planning for their future.
While the YWCA houses nearly 600 women, youth and children each year, the need in the community is much greater.
Through the YWCA Adopt a Room program, individuals and businesses are able to pledge a charitable gift and adopt one of 39 rooms. The campaign is being promoted by 98COOL as a way to involve your workplace or family for a group gift. Held over the holiday season, the campaign raises much needed financial support for services provided year-long.
“When women and families in our community face hardship and poverty, YWCA Saskatoon helps provide emergency shelter and a fresh start,” said Fisher. “The focus of our mission is the well-being of women, girls and families.”