Women's shelter for new Canadians presses for stable funding
An Edmonton shelter that helps refugee and immigrant women escape violent situations is worried about its future if it can't find more stable sources of funding.
The program known as WIN III is operated by the Edmonton Women’s Shelter, which runs two other shelters for women and children escaping abuse.
While those programs receive provincial operational funding, WIN III does not. Instead, it relies on donations, fundraising and grants for its $400,000 annual operating budget.
"We’re looking at operational funding, sustainable operational funding to keep it running," said Janine Fraser, executive director of the Women’s Emergency Shelter.
"We know that this is a needed service."
Win III helps victims of human trafficking, so-called honour crimes and other types of violence, and is believed to be the only one of its type in Canada.
Fraser said the shelter is always full and they have to turn women away. The other shelters are funded for a 21-day stay, but the women at WIN III usually need to stay longer.
"The reason being … is that we've identified that immigration and specifically our human-traffic victims have much more complex needs," Fraser said.
A spokesman for Alberta Human Services said the province is working with the Edmonton Women’s Shelter to develop a business plan to keep WIN III running.