History We have come a long way over the years.
The hard work of concerned individuals has been at the core of our Organization. From 1981 to today, we thank all of our staff, volunteers, sponsors and contributors for helping us to maintain and grow the Central Alberta Women's Emergency Shelter.
Concerned citizens, including some members of the Satus of Women Action Committee, met to discuss the problem of battered women and their children in our region.
A group of dedicated community members recognized that it was necessary to expand and renovate the Shelter in order to provide safe refuge for the growing number of families affected by violence. This group of dynamic people formed a Building and Renovation Committee, raised the necessary funds and a new dream was born. Thanks to a very generous community, a private donor and CMHC, the expansion was complete.
June 12, 1981
As a result of their deep concern and the interest shown, a public meeting was held at the Dawe Center with 12 people in attendance.
The newly expanded CAWES was finished and open for clients. We outfitted the new space for Administration, a larger area for the Child Support Program, a commercial kitchen, a teen boy's bedroom, and a barrier-free bedroom, as well as six new bedrooms and four en-suites.
October 2, 1981
After much work, a $10,000 Federal Government Grant was awarded to be used for public education and family violence research in Central Alberta.
We recognize that treatment for children who have experienced or witnessed family violence is a top priority. In response, we sought to create Canada's first in-shelter Children's Healing Centre. Incorporating the therapeutic benefits of SNOEZELEN, providing a bright, colourful play area, and group / individual counselling space, will help children to heal from the devastating effects of violence.
December 24, 1982
CAWES finally had approval from both levels of government to proceed. Red Deer and District Family and Community Support Services, who provided CAWES with $10,000 in deficit funding, made this possible.
CAWES has now become a recognized leader in its field. We currently have room for 38 women and children at one time, a province wide toll free number, over thirty staff and an operating budget of over $2 million. The tremendous task of providing refuge and support for families affected by domestic violence is ongoing, and successfully continues as a result of the hard work of many dedicated staff, volunteers and community supporters.
The new Central Alberta Women's Emergency Shelter officially opened its doors. The Shelter was licensed for 16 beds and was mandated to provide services 24 hours per day, seven days per week. They had four full time staff, one phone line and an operating budget of $200,000.