Why We Exist
Motivated by our Christian faith, Sonshine Community Services exists to help women and children transform their lives. We dream of a community where women and children live safely in healthy families.
Sadly, shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence is a deep need in our city. Each year Sonshine Centre becomes home for approximately 40 families, the overwhelming majority of whom are considered at high risk for fatality or serious injury due to violence in the home. Would it surprise you to know that over half of residents in a women’s shelter are children? Over the past three decades, Sonshine has seen the alarming impacts of domestic violence on children and its significant negative effects on a child’s emotional, social and cognitive wellbeing. In fact, witnessing or experiencing domestic violence is the number one indicator that a child will grow up to be a victim or perpetrator of violence. Not only does Sonshine help end family violence right now, we place special emphasis on the children in our care in order to cut off the cycle of violence before it impacts future generations.
In many circumstances, the 21 days offered at women’s or family emergency shelters is simply not enough time for a woman to gather the resources she needs to ensure she and her children can live safely and independently. Surveys by the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters found women return to abusive partners because of poor economic circumstances and lack of housing. This is why Sonshine offers an 18 month program, to support women through the healing process and equip them with life skills and/or job-specific training in order to become financially stable and capable of maintaining appropriate housing. Most importantly, women leave Sonshine empowered to create safe, healthy, loving environments for themselves and their children.
To learn more about how we make a difference, please click on this link: Our Success Stories.