A new affordable housing building for women and children will provide long-term housing solutions in the Inglewood neighborhood of Calgary.
YW Calgary announced the building’s completion alongside the City of Calgary as well as the provincial and federal governments on Wednesday morning.
The building aims to provide housing for people fleeing domestic violence who often have limited options after their 21-day stay in a shelter expires.
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The new facility will provide 21 two- and three-bedroom units for women and children. Residents will also have access to YW programs and services, such as counseling and parenting programs.
It will also have a shelter that will provide emergency housing for families fleeing domestic violence.
Sue Tomney, general manager of YW Calgary, said families will start moving in next month. The refuge will be open in the summer.
YW Calgary said it used trauma-informed design principles throughout the building to promote healing and a sense of safety for residents. These design principles recognize and respond to the needs and priorities of women and children, the nonprofit organization said.
“This building is trauma-informed and has an inclusive design. In the shelter, you can spot in any room and it’s a pet-friendly shelter,” Tomney said at the press conference.
“A third of the women who access our services are Indigenous women, so we need to meet the women where they are and make sure we offer them a space that gives them dignity.
“The establishment will also expand our local services. We can go out and meet women who need access to shelters.
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The project received funding from all three levels of government. The Alberta government provided $2.4 million for the project, while the federal government provided $10.4 million to support the shelter and an additional $7 million for the affordable housing project.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the City of Calgary helped by providing $2.5 million in funding and the land needed to build the facility.
“This type of project is community driven. The fact that it combines trauma-informed care with affordable housing is critical for families fleeing violence,” Gondek said.
“I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to work together as three levels of government that are committed to taking care of our constituents.”
Social Services Minister Jeremy Nixon said there is still a huge need for affordable housing in the city and the Alberta government is committed to funding more affordable housing initiatives in the province.
He said his father was a homeless youth who grew up on the streets after fleeing his abusive home with his grandmother, he said.
“It’s so important that we all get involved… There’s so much government can do,” Nixon told reporters on Wednesday.
“Women in our society have the opportunity to have a place to call home… We need to make sure that all Albertans have a safe place to call home.
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