ACWSThe release of the 2016-17 aggregate statistics by the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters shows the impact of the 2015 investment in funds by the Provincial government. Statistics shows that the number of women and children entering shelter remained at a constant. Shelter outreach services supported 45% more people than in the previous year.  Almost ten thousand were accommodated in emergency, seniors’ or second stage shelters.  Shelter outreach services served an additional 6,147 women and children, an increase in 45% from the previous year.

Speaking on release of the statistics ACWS Executive Director Jan Reimer said,

Thanks to the 2015 injection of funds from the Provincial government shelters have been able to hire more staff to cope with the overwhelming demand for services.  These statistics bear out the reality that when funded shelters can have an enormous impact on the lives of those who are in unsafe relationships. Extending outreach into the community allows shelters to meet women where they need support.

Reimer noted,

But the reality remains: emergency shelters are still often full, 13,236 women and children were forced to make the unpalatable choice of returning to their abusive partner or becoming homeless simply due to lack of capacity in the system.  A further 9038 women and children could not access emergency shelter services for other reasons.

Indigenous women make up more than half of shelter admissions (55%) reflecting the particular risks they face.

The disparity in funding for on-reserve shelters remains a massive problem.  The Federal government committed to providing equivalent services for on-reserve shelters as the Province provides for off-reserve shelters.  Bridging this gap is essential to reducing the risks faced by Indigenous women.”

Reimer concluded,

Shelters continue to help women transform their lives.  We hope that the Provincial government will extend and elevate its commitment to all women’s shelters.  We also hope that the public at large will choose to give generously to Alberta’s sheltering organisations this holiday season.

Media availability

Shelter Directors from across Alberta are meeting in Edmonton on Friday, December 8th. Jan Reimer from ACWS and shelter directors will be available for media comment at 10.15 am in the offices of ACWS, 600 10310 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton.

Media inquiries may be directed through ACWS or through local shelters.  A list of Alberta shelters is available here.

ACWS Media contact: 
Eoin Murray
Communications Advisor
Cell: 780-218-4468

ACWS Background

The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters serves 41 member shelters throughout the Province working together for a world free from violence and abuse.   ACWS was incorporated in 1983 and is a registered charity.

Help change women’s lives for the better at:

ACWS Charitable Registration: #118780634RR0001

In September 2015 the Provincial Government announced a $15m injection of funds to Alberta’s shelters.  This is the first release of ACWS annual aggregate statistics to show the impact of the funding.

A downloadable copy of the Annual Data report is available on the ACWS website at: