Soon, Airdrie will have a shelter for women who are suffering in an abusive relationship and need help.

A day shelter that offers education and help is being opened in a few months.

Crystal Boys, founder of Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. describes why a day shelter was the best option for Airdrie.

"It's a shelter for women to go to during the day. It's for women who don't need access to an emergency shelter right now. Five per cent of women actually utilize an overnight shelter where 95 percent of women who are leaving domestic violence have to navigate their safe exit all on their own. We're opening up a facility that allows women to come and start doing their safety planning and to get their ducks in a row so to speak so that when they are finally ready to leave, they don't have to utilize an emergency shelter. They are empowered and have enough behind them so that they are able to live an independent life from their abuser."

Boys says this has been a long time coming, and that Airdrie truly needs a shelter for abuse victims.

"For a long, long time, Airdrie's statistics for domestic violence were quite high and they are on the steady rise. We see that not slowing down at all in the near future. It is something that is very necessary for this city. Sending people to Calgary for resources is no longer an option. Airdrie needs to step up and really start to take care of their own vulnerable sector."

The shelter will offer abuse victims a chance to get back on their feet.

"Everything from counselling to guidance to education. Education is a main portion of the day shelter. Everything from résumé building to financial planning, safety planning. Just educating themselves on whatever they need in order to make sure they can leave their situation in a safe and empowered manner."

Airdrie itself sees a slightly higher than average amount of domestic abuse cases, according to the Airdrie RCMP.

Boys says, unfortunately, she's currently unable to give an exact date of opening.

"I would love to, but with construction is kind of all over the place. We're looking at April and at the very latest May. We are in the middle of construction, things are underway and as soon as we can get that done, we will have our doors open and some services available to women and children."

 

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