YW Sheriff King Home is a short-stay crisis shelter for women and their children leaving domestic abuse and violence. The shelter provides basic needs, including food and personal items, as well as individual domestic abuse counselling and support.
During their stay and afterwards, women and children can also access one-on-one support and referrals to help children understand and make sense of their experiences and feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
Women leaving shelter and moving to the community can continue to receive support from the YW Outreach Supports team, who help them navigate the system and connect them with resources for housing programs, legal services and education support as they build a safe, secure life. We also refer women to our safe visitation program.
Susan had been in a relationship with her husband since she was a teen. She experienced years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and had attempted to take her own life several times. She came to the shelter after a terrible assault left her bruised, homeless and in a lot of pain.
The shelter team spent the first week simply listening to Susan and building trust with her, as she’d been told she couldn’t trust anyone. Susan began to tell her story, and with the team’s help, started to understand the extent of the abuse she had been living with.
While in the shelter, Susan was able to access Alberta Works, and for the first time in years had money of her own. Susan’s husband constantly sent her messages and even involved their children in pressuring her to return. Susan was honest and told the team she’d normally have returned by that point, but was starting to believe in herself and could see that with support she could leave the relationship for good. Susan left the shelter and found housing through one of our community partners.
Susan has told us that without the support and safety of the shelter, she wouldn’t have been able to break her own personal cycle of violence and abuse.