It is no secret Airdrie, like many other Alberta communities, struggles with issues of family violence. What makes our city of nearly 70,000 residents unusual is the fact there is no shelter of any kind for those fleeing their abusers.
Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. is working to change that but needs the community’s support to do so. A women’s day shelter – the first of its kind in North America, according to the organization – aims to fulfil the needs of women and children affected by domestic violence who are currently unmet by other agencies.
The Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. website states the safe space, though not a formal overnight shelter, “is a non-judgmental place where women and children can take a few hours during the day to relax, make plans, and access formal supports.”
It is a good start and may be an important first step for women working to leave family violence situations. The facility will allow users to access support from police, counsellors and other professionals – something that can seem an insurmountable task for women to tackle on their own.
The Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. Day Shelter bridges the gap between informal supports (friends and family) and formal supports (police, community agencies), and provides step-by-step guidance for each person’s unique situation, according to the organization.
While it’s not a perfect solution to support vulnerable Airdronians, it’s a step in the right direction, and we encourage residents to donate.