Q: How big is the shelter?
A: We are a 25-bed shelter with 10 separate bedrooms. Each woman has her own room to share with her children. We have a large living room, dining room, kitchen, kids play room, laundry room, library and five shared bathrooms in the house. We also have an accessible bedroom with accessible washroom on the main level.
Q: Who generally uses Women’s Habitat services?
A: Our services are for women with or without children who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing any type of violence, including physical, emotional, spiritual and/or financial abuse. Women come from all walks of life, a wide range of backgrounds and ages.
Q: How does a woman get admitted?
A: women can call our 24/7 crisis line 416-252-5829 to speak to a counsellor. If we are full we will make sure you are accommodated at another shelter and will put a safety plan in place for you and your children.
Q: What do women do if there is no room at the shelter?
A: Women’s Habitat runs at full capacity and therefore there are many times when we cannot accommodate women and children in need of help. If we are full, we call other shelters in the city to find space. If a woman comes to the shelter and we have no space, we will not turn her away until we find somewhere safe for her to go. If a woman needs help, but does not need a shelter, she can visit our outreach centre where there are a range of programs that can support her and her children. See services available from the Outreach Centre.
Q: How many calls does the 24-Hour Crisis Line receive?
A: On average we received 700-1,000 crisis calls a year. In 2016 we received 1,100 calls.
Q: Why do women go to a women’s shelter instead of a family member’s home or a hotel?
A: When a woman decides to leaves her abuser, this is often the time they become the most violent and dangerous. Some women are fleeing abuse from a person who would be able to track them at a family member’s home. Also, most hotels require the use of a credit card. The abuser can then locate the woman by tracking the credit card. Lastly, staying with loved ones could potentially put them at risk too.
Q: How long do women and their children stay at Women’s Habitat?
A: The average stay is six to eight months. Some families stay longer. We do not expect women to leave until they secure permanent, affordable and adequate housing.
Q: Is the shelter accessible?
A: Yes. we have an accessible bedroom and bathroom on the main floor and the shelter is equipped with an elevator.
Q: How many languages can the staff at Women’s Habitat speak?
A: Women’s Habitat staff collectively speak 18 languages. At Women’s Habitat we ensure language is never a barrier when seeking support and offer interpreter services to any woman in need.