In a significant stride towards supporting women and children escaping domestic violence, the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (CAWES) has recently unveiled plans for a state-of-the-art facility. This momentous project has become a reality thanks to a substantial financial boost from the Government of Canada. The funding, announced June 2023, marks a turning point for CAWES, enabling the construction of a purpose-built facility that will cater to the needs of those seeking refuge and embarking on their healing journey.
The Funding Breakdown:
The federal investment, totaling just under $30 million, will facilitate the creation of a cutting-edge facility encompassing 50 emergency shelter beds and 40 secure transitional housing units. This financial support comes as part of the Women and Children Shelter and Transitional Housing Initiative, a commitment made by the Federal Government in Budget 2021 to allocate $250 million towards constructing, repairing, and operating 560 shelter beds and transitional homes for women and children escaping domestic violence.
CAWES, in its current state as a 40-bed emergency shelter, has been operating beyond capacity for years, accommodating only a fraction of the admission requests it receives. The expansion to a 50-bed emergency shelter and the addition of 40 transitional housing units represent a significant leap forward in CAWES's ability to provide safe housing and support to those in need.
Local Support and Construction Timeline:
Local partners, Stantec and Chandos Construction, are playing pivotal roles in providing design and construction support for this transformative project. Construction in Red Deer has already commenced, and the facility is expected to be completed by 2025, providing a beacon of hope for those seeking refuge from domestic violence.
The funding allocated to CAWES is part of the second phase of the Women and Children Shelter and Transitional Housing Initiative, amounting to $82.4 million across 12 communities, including Red Deer. It aims to address the urgent need for safe spaces in various regions across Canada. Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen, emphasizes the significance of these initiatives in fostering stable environments where women and children can rebuild their lives, heal, and gain independence.
The Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter's ability to forge ahead with its ambitious project stands as a testament to the commitment of the Government of Canada to address domestic violence issues across the nation. As the new facility takes shape, it holds the promise of providing a safe haven for those in need, ultimately contributing to the realization of the National Housing Strategy's goals. To stay updated on the progress of the Women and Children Shelter and Transitional Housing Initiative, interested individuals can visit cmhc-schl.gc.ca.