Ground breaking at new women’s day shelter in Airdrie

Canada

After months of delays, a new shelter for women officially broke ground in Airdrie Thursday.Instead of the usual shovels in the ground, the group opted for a sledgehammer striking the wall to signal the start of construction.The shelter was supposed to be open in April but because of construction and zoning permits, the shelter opening was delayed.Founder Crystal Boys said Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. — which stands for Protecting Our Women with Emergency Resources — was created to provide critical, life-changing services for women fleeing domestic violence.“We’re here to fill a gap in services that are needed in town,” Boys said. “It breaks my heart that women do reach out for help but have nowhere to go.”

New Airdrie women’s day shelter to open in November.

New Airdrie women’s day shelter to open in November.Loren Andreae / Global News
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The gap in resources is especially dangerous in that city of about 70,000 people. The city has among the highest rates of domestic violence in the country.READ MORE: New Airdrie women’s shelter needs money, materials after construction setbackCompared to the national average, Airdrie ranks about 4.5 times higher than the national average, according to a city of Airdrie report. For Nadene Wood, it’s a story she knows all too well. Her best friend Dawn Warden was the victim of an alleged violent domestic attack, one that saw three of her fingers severed.“It was horrifying, I was devastated,” Wood said.Wood said a resource like the women’s shelter would provide unparalleled support.“The day shelter [is] a safe space for women to go where they can access all the resources and know that they’re safe. They know they’re protected and that is a fantastic resource,” Wood said.READ MORE: Airdrie community hosts fundraiser for woman who had fingers severed in domestic attackThe inside of the house will be fully rebuilt to meet the specific needs of the shelter. There will be counselling and therapy services available, as well as discussion groups.The hope is that the shelter will empower those who suffer in silence to have the courage to come forward.“One of the benefits of this is that it will give people the opportunity to see they are not alone. People don’t want to talk about it, or they think it’s about me. But that’s not the case,” pastor and board member Tim Callaway said.“My dream is that this changes how we deal with domestic violence, this changes how survivors how they live after the fact,” Boys said.The new women’s day shelter will be open in November.Get daily local headlines and alerts

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