How We Do It
Second-Stage Shelter Program
“The Centre is all about discovering what’s already in you; it’s there for you to learn about yourself, from yourself.” – Former Resident
We have 34 Second- Stage Shelter apartments which are safe and welcoming. All 34 apartments are fully furnished. While the majority of these apartments are two-bedroom units for mothers and their children, we have 4 bachelor and 2 one-bedroom apartments, allowing us to serve single women who are fleeing domestic violence.
- Individual Counselling: Trained counsellors are available to all women and children residing in Second-Stage Shelter at the Centre. The counsellors provide support to help residents deal with the direct effects of violence. In addition, counsellors assist residents in practical matters such as securing financial support, applying for educational programs or employment, and connecting with agencies in the community. Counsellors will advocate for clients if the need arises, in order to assist them in their transition from supported to independent living. Scheduled counselling sessions lasting up to an hour-and-a-half in length are offered once a week, with drop-in counselling available on an as needed basis.
- Group Counselling: Group counselling is offered once a week. Some groups concentrate on domestic violence issues, while others deal with parenting concerns or literacy skills. All groups aim to build self-esteem and create an awareness of the impacts of domestic violence for the women. These groups are all psycho-educational in nature and are provided in a supportive environment.
“My counsellor helped me see how courageous it was to leave the relationship and try and move forward.” -Former Resident
Progressive Housing Program
The Progressive Housing Program is an affordable and independent living, consisting of 51 two-bedroom units. The apartments are available to women, with children, who have been impacted by domestic violence and are now equipped to be more independent; however they are still provided appropriate and adequate supports. Families stay, on average, up to 24 months in this program. At which time they are prepared to transition to the broader community. Referrals may be made through agencies or through self-referrals from Calgary and surrounding areas.
Child & Youth Counselling Program
Children are often described as the forgotten victims of family violence. Though violence may not have been directed at them, the consequences of growing up with violence in the home have proved to have an impact on children’s emotional and social development. The Centre employs a Child and Youth Counsellor who meets with all the children residing in Second-Stage Shelter at the Centre to provide individual counselling, group counselling and family support. The Child and Youth Counsellor also provides referrals for clinical counselling and other support services.
Child Care Program
Child care is available onsite to children at the Centre. Open Monday to Friday and offered in morning, afternoon, and evening. Activities are planned and healthy snacks are available. The Centre has two full-time child care workers as well as a team of trained volunteers.
During the summer, we offer the Children’s Summer Activity Program where our child care workers plan activities and field trips such as Calaway Park, Calgary Zoo, bowling, swimming, Calgary Corn Maze, etc. This program is supported by community donations.
We actively recruit volunteers to support programming at The Centre. Volunteer opportunities are currently available in the areas of:
- Pet therapy
- Child Care (must be at least 16 years old)
- Reception and office administration
- Maintenance and assembly of furniture
- Alternate therapies
If you are interested in volunteering at the Centre, please fill out our Volunteer Form on our website or call us at 403.270.7240.
I Am Courage Program
In April 2013, The Brenda Strafford Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence launched its first public awareness campaign “I Am Courage”. The 2013 I Am Courage campaign focused on the Courage it took to leave domestic violence and to leave it for good. It celebrates and supports empowerment, confidence and independence. Courage means something to everyone. By identifying what courage means to you, you can empathize with what it takes to leave domestic violence.
While the original campaign focused on women and their children and was very successful, the Centre strongly felt that the campaign must expand to represent the Courage it takes to stand against domestic violence. In doing so, the campaign has become more inclusive in order to better represent the reality that we all have a role in ending domestic violence. The Courage Campaign was so successful in raising awareness about domestic violence and the Centre itself, that it has transitioned into a full year program.
The I Am Courage Program includes the opportunity to book a Courage Speaker, who can share her story of domestic violence – talking about the situation she was in, the courage it took to leave, and the courage it takes to not go back, or one of our Courage Ambassadors, Barb Higgins and Michelle Morgan, who engage with audiences about what courage means to them.
I pledge to have the COURAGE to stand against domestic violence; to acknowledge that abuse exists; to trust in my belief for what is right; and to be a role model. I am COURAGE.