Emergency Shelter Space: Is Lack Thereof Putting Women at Risk?


December 17, 2015 :: Kristine Cassie
Moderated by Maria Fitzpatrick

Violence against women and children is an issue in most countries, provinces, cities and indeed anywhere. It certainly exists in Lethbridge, yet the resources to help those affected can’t keep up with demand. Last year 535 women and children used the 24 emergency beds at Lethbridge and District YWCA Harbour House, but over 1200 were turned away as all beds were full.

It’s the fourth highest shelter turn away rate in the entire province after Calgary, Edmonton and Sherwood Park and 2015 will surpass those grim statistics. Higher demand for shelter space may stem partly from increased awareness and more people reaching out for help, but nevertheless, more second-stage emergency housing is needed in Lethbridge, where women and children can move to and obtain counselling once leaving a violent relationship.

The increasing level of violence against women and children in Alberta is unacceptable and require long-term societal solutions in addition to short-term fixes. Aboriginal women and children are particularly at risk. Governments have responsibilities to deal effectively with this issue at all levels. The speaker will elaborate on the local situation and as well, explain other measures that are likely to assist abused women and children get on with their lives.

Speaker: Kristine Cassie

Kristine is the CEO for YWCA Lethbridge & District and has been with the YWCA in various capacities for over 24 years. Kristine has been part of the human services field for 32 years working within the not for profit sector with youth, domestic and sexual violence, girls programming and housing. She has contributed to the advancement of several community working groups including SHIA, CMARD, Sexual Violence Action Committee (SVAC) and Domestic Violence Action Team (DVAT).
Moderator: Maria Fitzpatrick MLA

Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A)
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea at the presentation)

At this session, SACPA will be donating the money from their share of lunch proceeds to Lethbridge YWCA Harbour House. SACPA will also gratefully accept donations to Harbour House from session attendees.


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