Sharing Stories of Strong Women | Red Door Family Shelter

Sharing Stories of Strong Women

strong women

Every day, so many remarkable women and mothers pass through our doors.   Many arrive under dire, often tragic circumstances, but no matter what, their will to build a brighter future for themselves and for their children is stronger than any adversity.  Their continued strength and resilience is truly inspiring.


It's hard to imagine how Nadia must have felt the night she took her 4 children and fled from her abusive husband.  Even though she was terrified he would come after them, Nadia was determined to break free.  Her courage is undeniable - to leave an abuser is the most perilous thing of all.  25% of women murdered by their spouse are killed after they have left the relationship. After her daring escape, Nadia was totally alone with 4 kids to care for, including a severely autistic child, but she was determined to build a new life  full of hope for her children.  She received much need emotional and practical support at the Red Door to help her on her freedom journey. Eventually she was able to find and move her family into an affordable apartment, and continues to receive support from our Outreach team and through our food bank.  She is determined to fulfill her vision of freedom and happiness for her and her children. Nadia’s next priority is to start college so she can increase her income in her new career. 


What would it be like to risk your life to escape your home country and leave everything you know behind?  Maria was just a teenager when she came to the Red Door with her mom and sister.  Their country was being torn apart by a vicious civil war, and they had no choice but to flee.  Maria remembers feeling overwhelmed and uncertain when she arrived in Canada, but she also remembers being struck by her mother's calm reassurance and guidance.  "She was amazing. If I was her age when I came to a completely new culture, language everything, I would have been overwhelmed, but the strength that she has shown us is magnificent."  Her mother's stability and the support from the Red Door helped them integrate with their new community and establish a successful life in Canada.  "The Red Door helped us feel like we were part of a larger family and helped us be strong together".  Maria believes that her family's experience at the Red Door, helped shape her into the person that she is today. 


"It’s easy to be in an abusive situation and think it’s normal."  Anne was suffering from emotional abuse.  She and her children faced ongoing emotional cruelty and threats from her husband on an almost daily basis.  At two and half years old, her son still had not spoken.  But still she wondered, "Am I abused? Can I really leave my home and life behind?" It takes tremendous courage and strength to confront an abusive situation and to make the decision to leave.  When Anne made the call she knew she made the right decision.  "When we arrived at the Red Door it was a total shock, but just seeing that there were so many levels of support, it gave me strength.  I knew that I could make it.Anne and her children found a new beginning at the Red Door and were connected to the resources they needed to build a bright future.  Anne is now a licensed Paralegal and is attending Law School to pursue a career in Criminal Law.

"Organizations like this are so important because there are so many other women out there who’re caught in desperate situations and need a way out.   I make it my part to share my story and to tell people about the Red Door and their work.  I want other women to know about the resources that are available so that they don’t have to live through fear and violence like I did.  If by doing so I can help save just one other woman like me, I would be forever grateful."

With your help, brave women like Nadia, Maria and Anne find sanctuary, support and strength at the Red Door.  Together we are helping these remarkable women build bright futures. 

Right now there are 34 homeless single moms at the Red Door who need your support.

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