Women's shelter safe house has made major changes over last 20 years

By Hayley Ferguson
June 25, 2019 - 5:12pm Updated: June 25, 2019 - 7:16pm

 

Medicine Hat, AB - 20 years ago, the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society built the Phoenix Safe House as a haven for women and children experiencing family violence.

Now two decades later they’ve been able to expand their services and create an even warmer space.

In 1999, when the doors opened they had just 11 beds.

There's now 30 beds and just last year the Phoenix Safe House started welcoming men facing family violence.

Families are given their own bedrooms and share a communal living space with a dinning room, a gym, a laundry room, TV lounges, and a large kitchen that was upgraded two years ago. 

The society has also created a daycare where parents can leave their children without worry.

Executive director Natasha Carvalho says that the thing she is most proud of is the support the community has given to the society.

“I’m happy that people know that we are here and if they need somewhere safe to go they can come.” She said. “When people come here, women and children, they are just so happy to be in a safe place and just to feel supported and have somebody here for them. And I think that’s the biggest piece of all.”

Carvalho also mentioned how important volunteers and donations are to keep the safe house open. Volunteer positions and an updated list of the society’s needs can be found on their website.
 

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