Thist""Think of a shelter as an emergency room. It provides safe haven for a family when they have nowhere else to turn. It offers the support and guidance they so desperately needed in their time of crisis."
Former Executive Director
Red Door Family Shelter
Our two emergency shelters, one for families and one for women fleeing violence, have 161 beds between them, which allows us to serve hundreds of families each year. Families come to the Red Door Shelter through a referral from agencies such as Children’s Aid Societies, Public Health Department, Police Services, through Central Family Intake (CFI), the city’s clearinghouse for shelter beds for families and for women with children fleeing domestic abuse, other shelters, or through word of mouth upon the advice of friends.
Red Door Shelter residents come from all walks of life. Some individuals have good jobs but due to certain circumstances, such as domestic abuse, they are forced to seek temporary shelter. It is quite possible that some of your neighbours or members of your community have needed or may one day need to stay at a shelter for a while.
The general perception of what homelessness is or is not must change, and working to end homelessness is critical to the well-being of our neighbourhoods and communities. The Red Door Shelter, and other emergency shelters like ours, can make a real difference in our communities and help to end homelessness by assisting each family to establish a stable life beyond the shelter through education, counselling, referrals to other community services, and by advocating on their behalf.
Few situations are as difficult as finding oneself suddenly homeless and in desperate need of shelter for the night.
Some families will stay only one night, while others may live at the shelters four to six months. Circumstances and needs will determine a family’s or an individual’s length of stay. However, within approximately three to four months most are re-established in the community and back to living independently.
In fact, a relatively high proportion of our former residents are able to move back into a private market housing scenario, while others are able to move into subsidized/social housing, all of which is positive news for our communities, our city and our families!
It is also a testament to our success in helping families make that critical transition from homelessness to hopefulness. Their successful transitions are in no small measure due to the services and programs the Red Door Shelters provide beyond emergency beds and immediate refuge.