Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. is coming up on their two-year anniversary of opening their Day Shelter facility and, as much as it’s a time for celebration, it’s also a time of need as the organization faces a significant funding shortfall in 2023.
Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. (Protecting Our Women with Emergency Resources) was founded in 2015 by Crystal Boys, with the mission to bring resources, education, and support to the community of Airdrie around the issue of domestic violence. The dream of opening a shelter right here in Airdrie was made reality through the selfless efforts of volunteers, board members, and many donors.
The Day Shelter facility was Phase 1 of a three-phase plan. Phase 2 is an overnight shelter, and phase 3 is long term housing. The Day Shelter is a free, welcoming, facility for women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse to have a safe space and access the support they need. And there’s more need than you might think in Airdrie, with more than 100 women availing themselves of services including education, safety planning, legal clinics, and more.
As needs, and costs, increase, and with the vision of an overnight shelter clear in mind, the group is actively seeking donors via their unique Day Shelter and Program Sponsorship Packages as well as through donations and events.
“We need donors who believe in what Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. is doing, who believe that women and children deserve to live lives free of abuse, to donate funds to keep the Day Shelter running,” says Dana Gable, operations manager. “We know that if the Airdrie community comes together to get behind this, that we can keep helping women and children for years to come.
“Without additional funding, we will have to cut staff hours, and potentially even lose our client intake worker. The demand for our services only continues to grow, and it breaks our hearts to have to consider cutting our service hours to these women who so desperately need support. We have seen firsthand what a difference it makes to women fleeing domestic violence, to have the non-judgmental, wraparound support we provide at the Day Shelter, and we are passionate about continuing our work here.”
Funding is used for upkeep of various Day Shelter rooms and amenities as well as programs such as Empowerment, Rural Outreach and Case Management and Education.
“Airdrie P.O.W.E.R.’s annual full operating budget is $352,000, although we often need to operate well below that depending on funding,” says Gable. “Our fiscal year ends March 31, and for our next fiscal year we are currently facing a shortfall of $120,000 to continue to operate at our current capacity. We have three staff, so our team is very small and dedicated, and we all have many roles that we fill. We probably have an active rotation of about 25 volunteers, but we’ve had more on one time basis, it really depends.
“Our budget is primarily to fund our programs, which is how we help women and children. The Day Shelter model is able to help many women for a relatively small budget, and we can really impact a lot of lives with our staff and programming. The need in Airdrie for our services is increasing, and donations are down (likely due to inflation and the economy) which puts us in a difficult situation.”
The organization is hosting the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser walk on February 25, and you can sign up to walk, volunteer, or donate here: Coldest Night of the Year 2023 (Canada) – Airdrie (cnoy.org)
You can also donate online to Airdrie POWER here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/47520