Many women in Calgary are privately struggling with income, housing and food insecurity, and other critical basic needs issues. At the Women’s Centre, we believe that all women must have their basic needs met.
To the best of our ability, we provide women with quick access to basic needs items such as emergency food, personal care supplies and bus tickets. We also offer referrals to other agencies for food, clothing, furniture, housing, health, employment, education and recreation.
Some of our services include:
Peer support is trust-based, non-therapeutic support that women provide to each other. Whether a woman needs basic needs support, information about community resources, has a question or concern, or maybe just needs someone to listen, she can connect with one of our peer support volunteers by calling or stopping by the Centre for a visit. Hours and contact info here.
We offer safety planning with women in potentially dangerous situations and work with other agencies addressing violence.
Legal Advice Clinics
Volunteer lawyers provide free, half-hour legal advice sessions to women. These sessions aim to provide a starting point when accessing the legal system. The clinics address family issues and other types of law, but not criminal or immigration law. All women are welcome; appointments required.
Computer and Equipment Use
Women have access to computers with internet, a photocopier, a fax machine, and telephones at the Women’s Centre. We also take telephone messages for women.
Volunteers prepare taxes for low-income women. While doing the taxes, they provide information on how to access associated benefits such as GST rebate, Canada child tax benefit and provincial child health benefits.
Basic Needs Assistance
When resources allow, we provide women with access to food and personal care items such as pads, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, pregnancy test kits, and condoms.
Women who need photo identification can come to one of our I.D. clinics to have their photo taken and and have their identity documented and notarized by a volunteer lawyer. Notarized identification is widely accepted for a variety of purposes (e.g. job and rental applications, personal income tax, court services, traveling within the country, etc.). Although no one is legally obligated to accept it, many places will still accept notarized documents. Note: notarized identification is not the same as government-issued identification.
Commissioner of Oaths
A Commissioner of Oaths can administer oaths on documents for use in the province of Alberta. To make an appointment, please contact us at 403-264-1155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women are able to receive referrals to other programs and agencies for a wide range of free and low-cost support through the Women’s Centre. Referrals include, but are not limited to: food, clothing, winter coats, furniture, housing, haircuts, recreation, and education and employment assistance. More information about some of the agencies we refer women to can be found here.
With their child’s ID, mothers or primary caregivers can come in around their child’s birthday (two weeks before or after) and near the Christmas holidays to choose a gift.
Community Drop-in Space
When women and children visit the Centre, they are offered hot drinks, baking and fresh fruit, free of charge.
Our emergency fund is used to provide women with grocery vouchers, bus tickets and other emergency needs. Because demand far exceeds our resources, women are only eligible to receive support through this fund once per year.
At the Women’s Centre, women can access information on resources and services, women’s issues and upcoming events.
Good Food Box Depot
Women can order, pay for and pick-up Good Food Boxes at the Women’s Centre. The boxes consist of low-cost seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables.