Edmonton Women's Shelter

December 09, 2013 09:00 ET

Canada's Only Emergency Shelter Dedicated to the Needs of Immigrant, Refugee and Human Trafficked Women and Children to Reopen

- Edmonton's "WIN III" Receives Reprieve Following Major Donation

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Dec. 6, 2013) - Canada's only emergency shelter for immigrant, refugee and human trafficked women and children, known locally as WIN III, will reopen in 2014 after receiving a $250,000 gift from Renée Gouin-Katz.

Upon reopening, WIN III will be renamed "Carol's House" in honour of Ms. Gouin-Katz's mother, Carol Gouin, a proud Edmontonian who supported numerous women's causes throughout her life.

WIN III was launched as a pilot project in 2010 by Edmonton Women's Shelter Ltd. (EWS), most commonly known as WIN House. In 2012, WIN III received 2800 crisis calls and provided temporary emergency shelter to 409 women and 536 children. However, despite its success, WIN III was forced to close its doors in November 2013 due to a lack of operational funding.

WIN III provides ethno-culturally sensitive support, in-house nursing, counseling and outreach services to shelter at-risk women and children, and help them integrate into Canadian society. These women are typically new to Canada, do not speak English or French, and are subject to severe domestic abuse and exploitation. These women tend not to access traditional women's emergency shelters due to cultural barriers and fears, as well as the relatively short stays permitted by these facilities. As many of these women lack a path to citizenship, access to social services, suitable housing and the ability to work, they face additional hurdles when trying to escape domestic violence and live independently of their abusers.

"This extraordinary gift will make it possible to reopen WIN III's doors so that we may continue providing life-saving services to the most vulnerable members of our community," said Janine Fraser, Executive Director of EWS. "Without WIN III, many of these women risk extraordinary abuse, deprivation and worse. This generosity will save lives, and we couldn't be more grateful. We are working with community leaders to secure additional funding needed to sustain these unique and all too necessary programs. We expect to have more positive news on this front in the New Year, but for now we are simply overjoyed to be able to reopen our doors and continue our work."

"WIN does brave and important work to help the most marginalized women and children in our community," said Ms. Gouin-Katz. "It's a privilege to be a part of this cause and to support such a forward-thinking organization as it sets an example for culturally sensitive women's shelters around the world."

For more information, please visit: www.winhouse.org/.

About Edmonton Women's Shelter Ltd.

Edmonton Women's Shelter Ltd. (EWS), most commonly known as WIN House, is a non-profit agency operating three shelters, WIN House I, WIN II and WIN House III. The WIN Houses are for women with children or without children who are fleeing domestic violence. The Edmonton Women's Shelter started when a group of concerned citizens met in 1968 to consider the growing problem of homeless women in Edmonton. In 1970, they opened an overnight emergency shelter in the basement of All Saints Cathedral. On September 26, 1973, EWS incorporated. WIN I opened in 1978, WIN II in 1982 and Carol's House (formerly, WIN III) opened its doors to newcomer women in 2010. The shelters operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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