The YWCA: Sheltering & Supporting Women in Poverty

Most people are familiar with the YMCA. Fewer though know much about the YWCA. That’s a shame, because the YWCA Niagara region does some really great work.

The YWCA Niagara Region provides emergency homeless shelter, food and assistance to women in poverty. In 2014 they sheltered 684 women in poverty and their families. The YWCA runs women’s shelters in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls and also provides the only emergency homeless family shelters in the region.

You can not understate the value of a shelter to a homeless person or a family that suddenly becomes homeless. The Niagara Mobile Outreach Program routinely helps people access the shelter system throughout Niagara. Having a safe shelter allows you to start thinking about things aside from your immediate needs. Without shelter, tackling the issues that contributed to your situation is much more challenging.

There are around a dozen shelters in Niagara. Some are for men or women only. Others focus on helping newcomers to Canada, youth or those with non-medical mental health crises. There is always pressure on the shelter system to meet the varied needs of the homeless. The need varies by the seasons. We’re coming up to the end of March which means the Out of the Cold programs will end and many of the homeless who have been sleeping in church basements during the winter will be in need of indoor accommodation come April 1st. The shelter system in Niagara is important to help people find their footing and start rebuilding their lives.

It is possible to go from being homeless to housed with the right support. The Salvation Army’s Niagara Mobile Outreach Program, the YWCA and many other community organizations and government agencies work together to get people off the streets and into a safe place of their own. The charities involved in homelessness reduction rely on the help of people like you to fund their important work. If you haven’t been doing any charitable giving lately, please consider doing so now. You can click here to donate to the Niagara Mobile Outreach Program.

To learn more about the YWCA of Niagara, click here: http://www.ywcaniagararegion.ca/

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