With incredible community support, the Women’s Centre continues to make a difference in the lives of women in Calgary.
In 2022, we responded to over 44,000 contacts from women in Calgary.
From employed women who cannot afford bus tickets to get to work; to women requiring legal advice; to new immigrant women coming to our Practice English groups, we continue to support and connect women through our services.
We are providing basic needs assistance to women more than ever before. We are working to maintain a safe place for women to build community, to receive assistance and to help in return as they are able. And we are facilitating opportunities for women to address the underlying causes of the situations they deal with.
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In 2022, the Women’s Centre of Calgary:
- Responded to more than 44,881 contacts from women.
- Provided direct assistance with basic needs 17,425 times.
- Made 2,928 basic need referrals and advocacy calls.
- Provided workshops covering topics such as health & wellness, arts & crafts, and professional development with 3,459 attendees.
- Provided Legal Advice Clinics accessed 380 times.
- 360 women completed tax returns.
- Made 17,425 peer support, information and follow-up contacts.
- Welcomed 3,340 attendees to make social connections and build community.
- Welcomed women to use our computers and office equipment 3,854 times.
- 749 volunteers have supported the Centre with 22,481 hours of volunteer work.
The Centre achieved the following outcomes:
- 96% of workshop participants report they learned something they wanted to know
- 97% of women using the Centre report they feel safe at the Women’s Centre
- 89% of women report they are treated with respect at the Women’s Centre
- 89% of women report feeling at home or having a sense of belonging at the Women’s Centre
- 88% of women coming to the Centre report they get support when they need it
- 81% of women met people at the Women’s Centre they would not normally meet
- 79% of women report they know more about women’s issues
- 83% of respondents said that being involved in the Women’s Centre helped them become more involved in the community
In 2022, we responded to:
Contacts from women
Were made in person
Were made by phone
Were made by email
Were made virtually
At the Women’s Centre, we are a diverse community of women:
- 17% are Aboriginal, First Nations, Inuit or Métis
- 25% are immigrants and/or refugees
- 25% are visible minorities
- 6% are LGBTQIA2-S
- 16% are living with a disability
- 12% are seniors
- 7% are youth (under 25)
And many of us experience the following challenges:
- 38% are living or have lived in poverty
- 27% are raising child(ren) or have raised child(ren) as a single parent
- 30% are experiencing or have experienced a violent relationship
- 10% are involved or have been involved in the criminal justice system
- 28% have or have had a chronic health issue
- 21% are, or have been, homeless or living in a shelter
- 35% are unemployed
- 9% are underemployed or have precarious employment
- 39% are single, divorced, or separated
Every day women tell us how the Women’s Centre has impacted their lives. In outcome evaluation surveys, women included comments such as:
"I came to Canada in 2013 and knew about nothing in the city. I had multiple issues, and difficulties settling here and needed help. Once I met an Indigenous woman who came to the Women’s Centre frequently, and she told me about the place, saying it was nice and friendly and that I could get help here. I decided to give it a try. In the beginning, I was receiving assistance with food and personal care items monthly; this already was a huge help as I couldn’t afford much at the time. Later on, I started learning from the Centre about different resources, learning about places, programs and getting professional answers to many questions I had. But the most valuable thing here in the Centre is the people. Always ready to listen, always caring, always ready to help, regardless of how tough or complicated the issue is. Great people, responsiveness and professionalism–these are the things I like the most about this place. The Centre changed my life in many times and ways. I got many answers to my questions, which made my life easier. And also, it made my life more interesting. Without the Centre, I would feel lonely and have less meaning in my life. Since I came to the Centre, I found community, friendships, meaning, and goals. Without exaggeration, it allowed me to see my life here differently and decide to stay in Canada. I feel like I belong here. I feel I am needed to make some of these great programs happen. I am part of something bigger thanks for the opportunity to participate in community events, workshops, and volunteer.”
"The Women’s Centre is a very welcoming place. I feel connected and supported and that everyone is accepted here."
"It looks like women supporting women no matter what, we’re all different but I feel like we need to support each other more often these days."
"I want to thank you for all opportunities that the Women’s Centre is providing. I really appreciate all that the Women’s Centre has been doing for me!”
“You all do such great work in the community and I feel proud of my involvement as a volunteer, which truly makes me feel like I am making a difference.”
“All the women at the Centre are here to help assist each other and anyone who comes through the door. It is a great place to be, as they always find new and innovative ways to assist women in need.”
“I have donated to the Women’s Centre for a long time and I look for events to participate in. I really appreciate the online learning and workshops. I love everything about what the Women’s Centre is doing and the approach being taken. Thank you for your great work!”
“Thank you for creating a safe and empowering place.”
“I hope for the community to continue to grow and help out as many women as possible, and let them know they are not alone. We’re all in this together.”
“The lawyer I had my consult with was very lovely. Thank you for your services and volunteer work. It really helps abused women not feel so alone.”
“I feel very confident navigating my legal situation after speaking with the volunteer lawyer. She answered all my questions, took the time to listen to all my concerns, and gave clear advice. Thanks so much!”
“I feel very safe. The Women’s Centre is unique for me and my friends. The Women's Centre keeps me calm and relaxed and saves me from loneliness.”
“I really like the Women’s Centre peer model. It is so great to see people feeling empowered to help themselves and to see the sense of community and friendship at the Centre. It is a really great dynamic. It is a very positive, supportive atmosphere.”
”The Women’s Centre has made such a difference in my life. I got support from the Centre when I needed it. I got the help and experience that I needed. Thank you for all you’ve done for me.”
“Thank you for offering this program in a thoughtful way during the pandemic. I feel like even with the crisis, I can make positive community changes and have an impact on my community vision. It was so nice to be reminded of how great so many women are.”
“When I first entered this country three years ago, I didn’t know anyone. One of my neighbours advised me to visit Women’s Centre, where I have received a lot of help.”
“I like the friendly and busy atmosphere. The volunteers and staff, and other clients, are all very friendly and supportive.”
“The Women’s Centre is more like a home to me. Thank you!”
“It has brought more support to women in the community, because it is a place where women go to meet other women and to feel safe.”
“The Women’s Centre makes the community stronger. It lends support and acts as a meeting place for women who are seeking someone to talk to, either to deal with crises or just broaden their horizons.”
“Thanks for your efforts in setting things up to allow for the necessary safety equipment. Makes a difference to me. I feel comfortable coming to the Centre! You are all amazing, and thanks for all your efforts throughout this pandemic.”