News / Edmonton

Edmonton women’s shelter says province's $15 million investment is ‘historic’

The funding will support those affected by family violence across the province will result in more counselling and housing options for women and children.

Liza Sunley, Executive Director of the Lurana Shelter Society, says a $15 million investment from the provincial government into Alberta's women's shelters will allow them to better serve their clients.

Kevin Tuong/Metro Edmonton

Liza Sunley, Executive Director of the Lurana Shelter Society, says a $15 million investment from the provincial government into Alberta's women's shelters will allow them to better serve their clients.

An Edmonton women’s shelter says a $15 million investment to support those affected by family violence across the province will result in more counselling and housing options for women and children.

Announced by the Alberta government Wednesday morning, the funding brings the annual investment to more than $49 million.

“It’s a historic kind of announcement,” said Liza Sunley, Executive Director of the Lurana Shelter Society.

“(The government) has always sort of recognized the needs that we have and we’ve seen increases over the years, but nothing like this before.”

The funding is intended to help improve data collection, research and training, offset operating costs at shelters, fund 11 second-stage shelters and hire 84 new outreach support workers and 40 child and youth counsellors.

The Lurana Shelter Society is currently funded to provided 32 beds to support 16 women and 16 children at any given time. The shelter helps around 550 women each year.

Sunley said finding affordable and safe housing is one of the biggest issues faced by the shelter in helping women who has escaped family violence. She isn’t yet sure how much money the shelter will receive, but said it will allow them to equip women and children with the resources necessary to resume a normal life.

“They have committed to helping us with child and youth counselling,” Sunley said. “We will also be able to do more work with women in the community who need more supports to find safe housing.

“We’re excited about being able to do that. It’s been a missing piece for us for a long time.”

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