Peace River Regional Women’s Shelter Society recently received some much- needed funds from the provincial government to assist with approvements at the shelter.

The $64,000 was received through the Canada-Alberta Bilateral Agreement under the National Housing Strategy and Alberta’s Capital Maintenance and Renewal Program.

“The women’s shelter is an important part of our community, we are for women and children fleeing abuse; however, if we are able to we can house homeless and women with addictions/ mental health,” says executive director Sandra O’Doherty.

“The recent funding will help to go towards much-needed renovations; however, does not cover all of the renovation cost.”

The renovations will include new windows, siding replacement, accessibility improvements to bathrooms and a kitchen overhaul.

O’Doherty says the shelter will be adding the $64,000 from the government to the Surplus Retention Reserve Fund they have of $100,000.

“The renovations are important as our windows have exceeded their lifespan, causing a lot of heat loss in the winter and windows freeze up,” she says, adding they’ve hired Versatile Builders to complete the renovations before fall.

“The kitchen has also exceeded its lifespan and is too small for the people we have in house. The bathrooms need updating, the one downstairs needs to be brought up to wheelchair standards, accessibility is a huge issue for the one bathroom,” she adds.

The shelter has six bedrooms with a capacity of 24 beds. O’Doherty explains single women share a room and moms with children get their own room. She says they also have a second stage building that has two two-bedroom apartments and one apartment with one bedroom.

“As Albertans find a place to call home, it is important to ensure it is a safe place and somewhere they can take pride in,” says Alberta Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services Jeremy Nixon.

“Whether it be a shelter of affordable housing, our government is glad to be investing these funds, which will improve the quality of life for so many Albertans for years to come.”

Seventeen other women’s shelters, homeless shelters and private non-profit housing providers received funds through this initiative across the province, for a total of $2.1 million in contributions from the Province.

O’Doherty says the public can also help by making donations, either through monetary contributions or food, clothes, housewares, and furniture. She says the shelter is always short of new and unused personal items, such as toiletries and feminine hygiene products.

She says the Peace River Women’s Shelter will be holding its second annual used book sale at the Chateau Nova from May 26-28. If anyone has used books to donate or would like more information about the event, please phone the shelter’s number below.

If women need help, they can call the shelter directly at (780) 624-3466, or they can show up at the door or be referred by other agencies.

By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 17, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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